"Responsibility is a unique concept. It can only reside and inhere in a single individual. You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you. You may disclaim it, but you cannot divest yourself of it."
-- Admiral Hyman Rickover
How often have you decided not to delegate because "it's easier to do it myself?" Delegation failure is usually the fault of the person who is delegating -- due to a lack of clear communication about what is required. Here are some tips to help you to start delegating, and to gain confidence in doing it.

1. List everything that you could delegate in your job. Against each item, put the name of the person who you are delegating the work to.

2. Before delegating any task, set the expectation and ensure that the recipient understands:
a) the outcome that you expect,
b) what you want them to do.
c) how you want them to go about the task.
d) the resources they need to do it.
e) if training is needed -- make time for this, or you will set yourself up for failure.
f) when the work needs to be completed (importance), and checkpoints along the way to monitor progress.
g) that they are accountable for the success of this task.

3. The first time you delegate a task, start with something small. When the task is complete, give the person who completed the work feedback, and let them know how well they did it.

4. Delegate enough authority for the person to be able to accomplish the intended results.

5. Put the details in writing and give a copy to the other person.

6. Don't hover!
Leave this person alone to get on with the work, but be available to answer questions.

7. Agree on checkpoints to keep track of progress, and give reminders about upcoming deadlines. Give support and direction, but don't fall into the trap of doing the work.

8. Review and evaluate results at the end of the agreed time.

9. Expect results, but not perfection. There are many ways to get results, so don't insist that everyone does it "your way." You never know -- someone else may well see a quicker or more effective way of tackling a task!

10. Give lots of praise for a job well done. If you have given clear instructions at the beginning of the delegation, you should have a successful outcome.

By Chrissie Slade
www.businesscoaching4u.com Copyright 2000, 2001, 2002
by Thomas J. Leonard

Raise your hand if you are of the school "But Mother, I'd rather do it myself." It's time to give that one up. Many tasks are not so important that you have to spend your time doing them.

Using these tips you can be well on your way to saving time to focus on items that only you can do. This week:

1. Review your To Do List and circle at least one third of the items that you could delegate.

2. Identify who you could delegate them to.

3. Follow these tips and begin the process of delegation.

4. Assess the amount of time and energy that has been freed up by delegating to others.

5. Decide how you want to use this new found time.

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