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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Delegating and Supervising: Five Steps

The ability to delegate is one of the key result areas of management. Fortunately, it is a skill that can be learned with practice. Delegation is an art as well as a science. Effective delegation requires time, thought, and careful consideration. It is something that you must learn to do if you want to leverage yourself to the maximum.

Step One
The first step in delegation is to become perfectly clear about the results that you desire from the job. The greater clarity you have with regard to the results expected, the easier it is for you to select the right person to do the job.

Step Two
The second step is to select a person based on his or her demonstrated ability or success at doing this job. Never delegate an important job to a person who has never done it before. If the successful completion of the task is important to the success of your business, it is essential that you delegate it to someone who you confidently believe can complete the task satisfactorily.

Step Three
Third, explain to the person exactly what you want done, the results that you expect, the time schedule that you require, and your preferred method of working. The reason that you are in a position to delegate a task is because you have probably already mastered this task. Taking the time to teach and explain the best way to do the task based on your experience is an excellent way to ensure that the task will be done as you wish and on schedule.

Step Four
Step four is to set up a schedule for reporting on progress. If it is an important task, set up a deadline for completion that is a day or a week before your actual deadline. Always build some slack into the system. Then, check on the progress of the task regularly, very much like a doctor would check on the condition of a critical care patient. Leave nothing to chance.

Step Five
Step five, inspect what you expect. Delegation is not abdication. Just because you have assigned a task to another person does not mean that you are no longer accountable. And the more important the task, the more important it is that you keep on top of it.

Action Exercise
What task can you effectively delegate to someone else? Which one of your employees can handle the task efficiently?

*By Brian Tracy