A Neat Delegation Tip

guideHere is a very quick and simple, yet extremely powerful delegating tip.  This method of delegating certain tasks also helps in team building and cohesiveness, training, management and leadership within the team. 

Sooner or late you will have a situation where you have many staff that have been around a long time; which of course is a good thing.  When you are fortunate enough to have those long time experienced pros who stay current and continue to improve; you have nothing less than a treasure.  But, as with everything, there is the 80/20 rule with the more experienced, long-time team members and sometimes some of these ‘old pros’ become a little lethargic and comfortable in the fact that they ‘know it all.’ 

This causes many problems:

1. More experienced team members sometimes fail to keep up with new and emerging trends and industry advancements

2. More experienced members sometimes begin to take the “basics” for granted or forget them entirely

3. More experienced members sometimes feel they do not have to do their ‘homework’ anymore.

4. The above begins to cause dissension in the team as newer staff begin to feel a sense of favoritism toward certain employees by management

5. Communication begins to break down as the newer members begin to shun the old pros and a lack of mutual disrespect develops

6. And more

Well, this delegating tip can help: Simply delegate those tasks that involve the newer, more advanced topics, training topics or even the old basic topics and assign them to the old pros to teach.  When faced with the job to give a report on the new trend or the new product, the team member must him or herself become an expert.  When the long-time employee has the task to teach the new member the basics, they themselves must re-learn those basics.  Take those tasks that you usually do, and delegate them to the people who need to learn them the most. 

When the long-time member is successful and does a good job:

1. He or she has re-learned or learned the topic or training

2. He or she has had to do some real homework

3. They realize that they do not know everything and must keep up to date

4. They begin to empathize with the newer members as they remember what starting out was like

5. Newer members begin to respect the old pros more as they see that they really are experts and practice what they preach.

6. Newer members begin to lose the feeling that management is playing favorites

Now, in the event that the long-term member screws it up, it actually solves a lot of problems as well:

1. They now realize that they are not as sharp as they thought

2. They are brought back “down to earth”

3. You now have a tangible situation to point to, to suggest improvement

4. A sense of camaraderie ensues as the newer members feel that those long time pros are just as human as they

5. The pro realizes that he or she must stay up to date and do the homework

The common way of thinking is to delegate a task to the person most qualified to compete it.  However, for some things do the opposite: delegate the task to the person who most needs to LEARN it, and watch what happens!

I hope this tip is useful?


Sean McPheat

MTD Training   | Image courtesy by Stuart Miles of FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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Updated on: 11 June, 2008

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