Team Development: 6 Steps to Effective Delegation

To achieve everything you are capable of achieving, and to be able to concentrate on those few tasks that can make the greatest contribution to your life and work, you must become excellent at delegation. Whether you are a boss or an employee, it is a universal key to success. You must be continually seeking ways to outsource, delegate and get other people to do things that pay you a lower hourly rate than you desire to earn.

There are several ways that you can become more effective at delegating and outsourcing, or hiring other people to do parts of your work so that you can do the parts of your job that pay the most.

When to Delegate

1. Instead of You?

Ask the question, “Who can do this job instead of you?” Remember, you have to delegate everything possible in order to have enough time to do those few things that are most important.

2. Better than You?

You should ask, “Who can do this job better than me?” One of the characteristics of effective managers and successful leaders is that they have the ability to find people who are superior to them in specific tasks. You should continually be looking for people who can do certain parts of your work better than you.

3. At a Lower Cost?

Evaluate the job and ask, “Who can do this job at a lower cost than me?” Many companies and individuals are finding that they can outsource major parts of their operations to companies who specialize in that area. Companies that specialize in a particular function can usually do the job cheaper and faster than a company that does that work as part of its other activities.

4. Can It Be Eliminated?

Ask yourself and others, “Can this activity be eliminated altogether?” What would happen if the job were not done at all? Many of the routinized tasks and activities in a company or business could be quite easily eliminated with no loss of productivity and great increases of ineffectiveness.

It is amazing how many activities go on in business and private life that could be quite easily discontinued completely, with no loss or inconvenience to anyone. Rooting out these opportunities for increased efficiency can dramatically increase sales and profitability for an organization or department.

Six Steps to Effective Delegation

To delegate effectively in your work with others, there are six steps that you can take. If you neglect any one of these steps, you run the risk of miscommunication, misunderstandings, demoralization and poor performance.

1. Match the Person to the Job

Match the person to the job. One of the great time wasters in the world of work is delegating the task to the wrong person. Often the task is delegated to a person who is not capable of doing it properly or getting it done on schedule.

The only accurate predictor of future performance is past performance. The rule is that you never delegate an important task to a person who has not performed that task satisfactorily in the past. It is unfair to expect a person who has not done a job before to perform at a sufficient level of quality when they are given the job for the first time.

2. Agree on what is to be Done

Once you have selected the right person for the job, take the time discuss the job with that person and agree upon what must be done. The more time you take to discuss and agree upon the end result or objective, and achieve absolute clarity, the faster the job will be done once the person starts on it.

3. Explain How the Job Should Be Done

Explain to the person your preferred approach or method of working. Explain how you would like to see the job done, and how you or someone else has done it successfully in the past.

4. Have Him Feed It Back

Ask the person to feed your instructions back to you in his or her own words. Have him or her explain to you what you have just explained and agreed upon. This is the only way that you can be sure that the other person actually understands the job or assignment that they have been delegated to accomplish.

5. Set a Deadline

Set a deadline and a schedule for completion of the task. At the same time, arrange for regular reporting and for periodic inspection. Invite feedback and questions if there are any delays or problems.

6. Manage By Exception

Manage by exception whenever possible. Managing by exception is a powerful time management tool that you can use to work more efficiently with other people.

If the job is on track, and on schedule, managing by exception means that the person does not have to report back to you. If you don’t hear from him, you can assume that everything is going well. The individual only has to report back to you when an exception occurs and there is a problem with getting the job done on time, to the agreed upon level of quality.

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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

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