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The first time you delegate anything to anyone, painstakingly walk them through exactly what you want them to achieve.
Paint a vivid portrait of what things will look like once the task or project is completed.
You might have some instructions to provide or training to offer, but otherwise don’t necessarily be concerned with how the staff person will proceed. He or she might have a notion or two completely out of your realm that prove to be suitable and even appropriate for the task. Be available as much as practical although be careful not to encourage an environment of constant interruptions in which you cannot get anything done.
Match up the tasks you wish to delegate with those staff people who have the requisite skills and background. However, don’t be afraid to assign someone a task that represents a stretch. This is the way people learn and grow, and method for developing an increasingly competent staff.
Look to empower that person by offering guidance at critical junctures. If it helps, plot regular intervals at which time you two will get together to compare notes. Monitor project progress, offer additional guidance, and continue on.
As staff members begin to demonstrate their capabilities on the projects you’ve delegated, give them even more slack in terms of how they’ll approach and complete the assignments. Forsake any over-controlling predisposition.
Ideally, you’ve delegated enough authority for your staff to successfully complete the tasks by allowing them to make their own decisions and take initiative. You know you’ve delegated effectively when they’re able to operate even in your absence.
Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" and the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com
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