Sunday, January 3, 2010

Delegating Responsibilities

Photo: Track Via

No manager alone can cope up with his responsibilities all by himself. And in the heat of the hyper activities, unless co-workers or team mates are incorporated into the workload, a single person is likely to wear out soon, having serious consequences on attainment of goals and objectives. Therefore the need for delegation. However, it may also be noted that delegation could both be successful or disastrous, if delegation has not been done with utmost care and adequate homework.

Therefore, whenever thinking of delegating responsibilities, a manager must consider following guidelines:-
  • First of all be sure what is to attained so that exact and precise instructions could be dished to the person(s) being delegated to.
  • Select a person who understands you correctly or who is on the same frequency as you are. It would be only then that he would understand your instructions and the entire scope of work in the overall context as you do.
  • Clearly spell out the deadline, time limits, resources available so that he is very clear right from the outset what all is available to him, rather than he interrupting you frequently, and causing distractions. In fact the deadline given to him would indicate the urgency of the task (s) given to him. Vague deadlines have sometimes disastrous results. Terms like "As soon as possible" or "When you have time" are not only vague, but can mean different meanings to different personalities and their mindset.

  • After delegating, keep a track of the person’s activities as often as possible. A person if left on his own is liable to commit mistakes and may end up presenting you something totally undesired or off the step. In that case you will not be able to apply corrections or even if you do to correct someone’s mistakes, it may cost you and the company very dearly. Similarly, do the same when an assignment is delegated to you. It will be a reminder so that you complete the task by the deadline requested.
  • When delegating, encourage the person being delegated to, to ask as many questions as possible to clear his doubts. If he is left in doubts, rest assured you will remain short of achieving your target in time.
These are some of the tips to start with. Every person has his individual style and approach and may thus apply his strategy differently. But remember, delegation is a difficult tasks and has to be done very thoughtfully and only IF you don’t have time to address a particular part of your entire plan. Don’t ever delegate more than 25-30% of the total project, because then you may not be able to control and oversee the people being delegated.


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