Delegation Tips: Setting Guidelines

I can see you right now. The thought of delegating your authority and assigning tasks to others leaves you white-knuckling your file folders in fear. Will the job be done correctly? Will the work be done on time? Stop the negative thought process right now. After all – if you really feel this way about delegating your authority you need to assess whether or not you have the right people on your team to start with.

Take a deep breath, relax, and prepare to alleviate part of your workload. Here are three things to keep in mind as you assign work to a team member or employee:

• It’s easier to complete a project if you’re working on, or at least know about, the entire project. Don’t give pieces of the project away unless you’re willing to tell your team member about the scope of the overall project. The lack of communication from not sharing this information may result in a project that doesn’t in with the rest of the puzzle.

• Do you have a vision for the outcome of the project you are giving away? Your vision and his vision may be different based on the description you give. Speak up and tell your employee what your expectations are for the project. If you don’t speak up, don’t complain about the end result not being as you expected.

• Be sure to clearly identify the timeframe within which you expect the project to be completed. Let your employee know how often you want status reports in order to ensure the project stays on track.

Delegating your authority by assigning projects doesn’t mean simply throwing a task on someone’s desk and letting the cards fall where they may. You have the responsibility to clearly communicate your expectations and work with your team member to achieve positive results.

Give it a try – I think you’ll like the results!

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 18 November, 2008

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