The Principles of Delegation

As I’ve mentioned before, learning to practice delegation of authority is one of the most difficult tasks for new managers. Part of the problem is that they don’t understand the main principles of delegation. Today I’m going to outline what they are so that you can think about them and make an assessment about your personal situation.

1. How well do you know your team members, and how well do you know yourself? If you don’t know each other well enough, you may be hesitant to delegate your authority because you have a lack of trust or experience.

2. Have you assessed the strengths and weaknesses of each person on your team? Everyone has strong and weak points. Making a quick assessment will enable you to properly delegate work to the person most suited for each individual task.

3. Does your organisation have written job descriptions? If so, know what they are and determine if there are any legal limitations to whether or not you can go outside of those descriptions when assigning tasks.

4. Understand the requirements of each and every job. If you don’t understand the instructions you shouldn’t expect that anyone else will either.

5. Evaluate your communication skills. Are you constantly working with your employees to make sure they understand the task and to ensure they are making progress?

6. After the project is complete, look back on the process you used and determine if you should make any changes the next time you delegate a task.

You’re almost guaranteed success if you can learn to incorporate the above principles into your day to day delegation interactions. As always, there’s no reason for you to try to do everything on your own. Start the delegation process as soon as you can!

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Originally published: 10 October, 2008

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