Delegation skill is the ability to
effectively assign task responsibility and
authority to others. Or, in other words,
delegation skill is your ability to get
things done by using work and time of other
is a critical survival skill for managers
and supervisors, and this is what many
delegation training resources are about.
Yet, what is less often emphasized is that
understanding delegation skill and knowing
how to use it right is an
important personal time management skill.
No matter if you have subordinates or bosses,
if it is at work or at home.
Do you have to do everything yourself?
The delegation process normally starts from
asking yourself if you are the right person
to do the task, and then who is the right
person for this task. A common trap here is
thinking like "If you want anything
done right, you have to do it yourself".
Such thinking is a sure way to
stay overloaded with the same kind of work.
It is a severe limit on how far you can go
and how much you can grow in your job,
business, or personal life.
Who should do it then?
The first important component of the
delegation skill is choosing the right person
to delegate the
task to (delegatee).
You can use the following
simple strategies. First, if you have
subordinates, can any of them do the task at
lower cost than you? If you are concerned
with that they do it worse than you, can
they do it at least 80 percent as good as
you would, or could you train them to do it
If the task requires making decisions
you are not authorized to make, when it is
very right to delegate it to your boss.
Find a win-win deal
Outside the standard boss-subordinate
a key component of the delegation skill is
the ability to find a win-win deal,
and still delegate the task to someone.
A common win-win situation is when
delegating the task saves your time and
gives a valuable learning experience,
skill training, or an interesting
opportunity for the delegatee.
situation is task or service exchange, when
someone does a task for you in exchange for
that you do another task for her/him.
Finally, it may be more effective just to
buy some particular service from outside, or
delegate the task to technologies,
for example, to some special software.
You still have responsibilities
For your delegation skill to work,
make sure that you will be able to monitor
the progress of task execution and know if
the task is actually completed. When you
delegate, normally you are still responsible
for that the task is completed. Avoid
delegation when you are unable to monitor
the completion status.
Yet, delegate the whole task
What you live to the delegatee is the
how the task is executed,
the method of execution. When you do this,
for the delegation to be effective it is
important that you delegate the whole task.
You need to effectively and clearly
communicate to the delegatee what outcome is
expected and what requirement are for the
This is very important for the
delegatee's motivation and performance,
as well as for your satisfaction with the
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