<!-- 18. --> Leadership in Management

Effective delegation

Effective delegation

Most managers complain of an excessive workload with too much to do in too little time. Learning to delegate is therefore one of the the most vital skills of all to master. Effective delegation can then help to bring relief to a demanding and heavy workload, and also help develop other team members. In order to delegate effectively we first need to reflect on and be able to identify which of the huge number of our daily work tasks could actually be performed by other members of our team.

Before delegating any activity or task we need to consider two critical dimensions: the importance and urgency of the task.

The diagram below illustrates a simple but powerful matrix that can help us decide whether we should be holding onto a task or activity or dele­gating it to someone else.

  1. If a task is both urgent and important then we should complete it ourselves, as quickly as possible.
  2. If a task is not particularly urgent but it is important, we can either complete the task ourselves or delegate parts of it to team members. In most cases we need to set aside quality time to deal with this task
  3. If a task is urgent but not important it is probably most effec­tively tackled by some other member of the team.
  4. A task that is neither important nor urgent can be left until you delegate someone else to deal with it.

The matrix provides an easy and practical approach to thinking about our workload. Having decided that a task needs to be delegated, we then need to use our managing performance skills for allocating the task to a team member. In so doing we need to be clear as to the standard of work required and the requisite timescales and quality standards. We then have to ensure we have a simple but effective follow-up process to monitor the completion of the task. If we don’t apply our perform­ance management skills we may be simply ‘dumping’ tasks on people. We also have to remember to use the situational approach which urges us to consider the two questions of a person’s ability and motivation to complete a task.

Follow us on Social Media