How can I make delegating effective?

The essence of effective delegation is clear communication and clear expectations on both sides.  Both parties in the transaction must understand and interpret the communication, as identically accurate as possible.  So, written records can be very helpful, whether formal or informal.  Affirmation that responsibility and authority to fulfill that responsibility is important.  One pitfall of leaders who otherwise think they are effective is that they do not confer the authority and resources necessary to do the task.

When you and your colleague have had the delegation conversation, try to get a verbal assurance of understanding the task assigned and whatever parameters.  Good goals include some description of the end/s desired, the time deadline, and whatever limitation on resources.  If your delegatee is clear on expectations and everyone understands that he/she has the authority to make it happen, the only item remaining is to agree on some frequency or stages of reporting on progress or completion.  Depending on the nature of what you are delegating, make the report requirements as minimal as possible.  Remember, we’re getting away from micro managing!


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