Build Trust with Delegation

management Aug 03, 2023

Delegation is a crucial skill for any manager or leader. It not only allows for the successful completion of tasks but also empowers team members to grow and develop their skills. However, effective delegation goes beyond simply assigning tasks; it requires careful consideration of various factors and an understanding of the implicit contract between the manager and the delegate. In this article, we will delve into the key questions that need to be answered before delegating a task, and explore how delegation can increase trust within a team.

1. Who should I delegate the task to?

The decision of who to delegate a task to should be based on three main factors: experience level, capabilities, and current workload. While experience plays a significant role in task execution, it is equally important to consider the workload of team members. Under-burdened individuals should be given higher priority, as it allows them to take on new challenges and grow. However, the capabilities of an individual should also be taken into account, as proficiency in a particular area may outweigh workload considerations.

2. What task needs to be done?

Clearly defining the task that needs to be delegated is essential for successful execution. This includes outlining the desired outcome, the specific requirements, and any deadlines or constraints. By providing a clear understanding of the task, you set the delegate up for success and minimize the risk of miscommunication or missed expectations.

3. How will this task increase trust?

Delegation, when done effectively, can significantly increase trust within a team. Trust is a two-way street, and by delegating tasks, managers demonstrate their confidence in their team members' abilities. This trust empowers team members, boosts their morale, and encourages them to take ownership of their work. Additionally, successful completion of delegated tasks builds a track record of reliability and competence, further strengthening the trust between the manager and the delegate.

4. Who is this task being done for?

Understanding the end-user or customer for whom the task is being done is crucial. This knowledge, combined with experience, allows the delegate to better meet the needs of the end-users. Without this understanding, delegation becomes a mechanical execution rather than a learning opportunity for the delegate to understand and adapt to customer preferences and expectations.

5. When should the task be complete?

Setting clear expectations around timelines is vital for both the manager and the delegate. While it is beneficial to provide learning opportunities by leaving tasks open-ended, the reality of running a business often requires expediency. Balancing the need for timely completion with the opportunity for growth is the manager's responsibility. Regular communication and dialogue between the manager and the delegate will help establish realistic deadlines and ensure the task is completed efficiently.

6. How will the task be completed?

Providing guidance on how the task should be completed is essential for a successful delegation. Managers should communicate any specific instructions, preferred approach, or resources available to the delegate. Clear communication ensures that the delegate understands the expectations and can execute the task effectively. Regular check-ins and feedback during the process also enable the manager to provide support and guidance if needed.

Delegation is not just about assigning tasks; it is about building trust, empowering team members, and fostering growth. By carefully considering factors like experience, capabilities, and workload, managers can make informed decisions about task delegation. Clear communication, setting realistic expectations, and providing necessary support throughout the process are vital for successful task completion. When done right, delegation not only benefits the manager but also allows team members to enhance their skills, take ownership of their work, and contribute to the overall success of the team.


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