Effective Management: The 5 Golden Rules of Effective Delegation

The number one challenge that many managers face is insufficient time to do all of the things that need to get done.  Yet sometimes there are opportunities for managers to delegate work to others to free up time and grow and develop others. So what are 5 golden rules when it comes to effective delegation?


Rule 1: Plan it


If you are going to have any chance of effectively delegating you need to plan it.  Delegation is not about passing on something to the fist person who comes over to your desk just to get rid of it.  It is about identifying who would be best equipped to deal with a particular piece of work, ensuring that they have they have the capacity and the skills to do it. A little bit of thought can go a long way towards effective delegation.


Rule 2: Invest the time to train


I chose the word invest deliberately as a decision to delegate is really an investment decision.  Think about it you assign a period of time once to train someone else to do something and get the benefit over and over again.  Don’t see the time that you take to train as a waste of time but as a real log term investment.


Rule 3:  Set the boundaries and get out of the way


There is nothing more de-moralising than having a situation where a piece of work is delegated to you but the person delegating is checking up on progress every five minutes.  The answer to this is to set out boundaries or things that need referring back to you and then leave the person to get on with it.


Rule 4: Establish review points


As the manager you do obviously have to have some form of reviewing progress.  When delegating set some milestones and diarise meetings where you and the person to whom you have delegated since down and discuss progress and problems.


Rule 5: Create a buffer


Things rarely run perfectly to plan so it is important to recognise this and build in some buffer or contingency so that slippage or delay does not create havoc.  Make a point of leaving some space between the time when you need something and the deadline you set for those that you delegate to.


Bottom Line – Effective delegation can help you deliver better results.  So what do you need to start doing to be a more effective delegator?


About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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