We all know what delegation is, but the truth is most of us aren’t very good at it. For the simple reason that we were never taught how to effectively delegate. The result is that we often think that it’s not worth the time or effort to delegate or that it’s easier to do things ourselves.

But effective delegation is crucial to staying on top of your workload and scaling, which is necessary for long-term growth.

So here we’ll cover the 5 simple steps for how to effectively delegate so that you can master the skill of delegation, achieve better results with less stress and empower your team in the process.

How to effectively delegate: 5 Simple Steps

1. Define Success

Before you can pass the task or project to someone else you must first define what success looks like. This requires you to think forward and imagine, what end result would be happy with?

Once you have this defined, you’ll be able to clearly communicate your desired vision. This will set the expectation for yourself, as well as the person you’re delegating to.

2. Communicate the ‘What’

This should be a few sentences that clearly outline what action is required and what outcome you want it is you want to be achieved. In other words, this is what you expect to be delivered. Be clear and concise so there is no room for ambiguity.

3. Explain the ‘Why’

Context allows others to understand the broader impact and circumstances and increases the chances of a successful outcome. This big picture information also invites others into the journey by creating a shared understanding.

4. Provide constraints

Constraints are the parameters of the project. These would include things like the budget, timeframes, resources, milestones etc. By providing this information up front, you are setting the delegatee up for success by empowering them to act from an informed place so they can deliver results in line with your expectations.

5. Give clear authority

When handing over a task be sure you include the level of authority you are delegating. Michael Hyatt outlines 5 levels of delegation authority as:

  1. Do as I say – This involves following the specific instructions and does not allow for deviation or initiative
  2. Research and report – This requires research and information gathering with the decision to be made by you
  3. Research and recommend – Building on from research and report, this also includes a recommendation, providing an approval checkpoint before proceeding
  4. Decide and inform – This empowers them to make a decision and then report back on the actions taken
  5. Act independently – This hands overall decision making with no need to provide feedback, providing full support and trust

Bear in mind that the level of authority you provide will depend on the nature of the task, the experience and skills of the delegatee and the level of trust you have.

A final thought on delegation

Effective delegation is a skill that takes time and practice to develop, not just for you but also for those you work with.

Be reflective of tasks and outcomes and be open to feedback on what does and doesn’t work and refine your delegation techniques accordingly.

And keep in mind that taking the time to learn how to effectively delegate sets you up for long term growth and scalability. It also empowers, educates and provides growth opportunities for others, so it’s worth investing the time and effort.

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