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HOW TO DELEGATE – STEPS 4 - 6
Step Four: Communicate the Results You Expect
The cause of most unsuccessful delegation is usually miscommunication about expected results. Don't let this happen. When you are talking to someone about accepting responsibility for a task, make sure you are very clear about the end results you expect. If for example, you are asking them to take on responsibility for preparing a report, show them a previous report prepared the way you want that they can use as a model. Discuss what you liked (and disliked) about reports you have seen in the past.
As you are educating them about your expectations, be sure you cover all of the “result expectations:”
· The quantity of work (i.e., the length of the report)
· The quality of the work (i.e, the accuracy of the report and how accuracy is determined)
· The time frame for performing the work (i.e., when the report is due)
· Any cost considerations (i.e., how much can be spent to prepare the report)
Step Five: Discuss and Set Limits of Authority
No one can perform a task without having to make some decisions. But what are the limits of authority they will have to spend money, change the way things are done, handle unusual situations, and so on as they perform the task for you? Usually, in performing any job, there are four levels of authority a person reporting to you might exercise:
1. Authority to take action without informing you (the highest level of authority)
2. Authority to take action and inform you after the fact
3. Authority to decide upon a course of action, inform you, and take action unless you say no
4. Authority to recommend a course of action you must approve
Make sure there is no misunderstanding about the level of authority you are delegating. Discuss with them the authority level you are comfortable with them exercising and they are comfortable with accepting.
Step Six: Agree Upon a Timetable for Follow-up
At least initially, everyone will need some help in performing a new task. You should arrange specific times to follow up on their progress in performing the task at least the first few times they perform it. For example, say: “I think you have a pretty good grasp of the kind of report I need. So why don't you start on pulling the data together and I'll meet with you Wednesday morning to see if you have any further questions.”
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