By Tom Davidson
Q. What’s the key to good delegation?
A. Delegation is not a difficult skill, but it’s difficult to have the will to do it. You were promoted because you got things done on your own, but as a manager, you now have to teach and orchestrate the work of others. If you don’t delegate often enough or well enough, you will:
To keep yourself out of the delegation doldrums, do the following:
What – To determine what to delegate, use this test: If someone else can do it, they probably should.
Who – To choose who should receive the delegation, consider whether it is a simple task or a complex responsibility. If they haven’t done the task, they’re probably not ready for the responsibility.
How – To convey the delegation, tell or ask:
What will you do?
When will you do it?
How will I know it’s on track?
How will I know it was done?
What do you need from me so you can do this?
For a classic reference on the delegation doldrums, read:
Who’s Got the Monkey (Harvard Business Review, November–December 1974)
Mistake #3 – The Fool-It-Yourselfer – in The 8 Greatest Mistakes New Managers Make (Rumford Academy Publishing, 2011).