How to Delegate: What Do I Tell The Boss?

How to delegateI had a great question sent to me recently by someone who had bought my kindle book ‘Learn in Just 10 Minutes How to Delegate. A Step-by-Step Guide to Effective Delegation’ (you can see the book details HERE). She asked…

A really good question on delegation

‘Hi. In your book on delegation one of the steps is tell everyone. Do you have suggestions on how best to tell Senior executive members of the delegating especially for tasks they may have given and how to get their buy in on the decision to delegate’

Good isn’t it?

Now, I’ve written a LOT about delegation but not on how to tell your manager / senior executives about the delegation. How very remiss of me! Luckily I had written a blog on how to have a ‘delegation discussion’ with your staff member and it seems to me than an adaptation of the seven step guide I presented there could be just the thing for framing a discussion the ‘boss’. So here goes:

A seven step guide for telling your Boss what you have delegated, and why

Step one: Introduce the topic

Simply explain that there is a task you want to delegate to one of your staff and (depending on your relationship / how you usually work with your boss) that you either a) would like to gain their agreement or b) that you are keeping them informed

Step two: Describe the task to be delegated

Detail the scope of the task – what the staff member would and would not be responsible for.

Step three: Explain why you are delegating this task / part of this task

You might be delegating the task because it will develop the employee’s skills, knowledge etc, or relate to the employee’s interests or build upon their current skills and knowledge.

In these instances you may want to illustrate to your Boss the benefits of the delegation to the staff member.

Alternatively you might be delegating because you want to gain more time for you to focus on ‘high value activities’. This, in terms of making a persuasive case for delegation, is a goldmine.

In these instances you would describe the ‘high value activities’ your want to focus on – the reason you need to gain more time by delegating this task. In my blog ‘What is Delegation?’ I give a range of examples of ‘high value activities’. If you glance at that list you’ll see that the outcomes of many of those activities – gaining new business, building relationships, learning etc – would directly benefit your business. In short, you are aiming to help your Boss to see the benefits – to the business – of you spending more time on these activities (and, of course, logically this explains the benefits to the business of you delegating the task).

Step four: Gain agreement

Clearly, as I mentioned at Step One, you may not need this step if you are simply informing your Boss of the delegation. If you are looking for agreement you need to listen and explore with the Boss their views.

Remember you have flexibility around the degree of delegation.  As a result of your discussion it may be that you agree on to delegate only part of the task rather than the whole task (you can read more on ‘degrees of delegation’ at step three of this blog)

Step five: Describe coaching plans

Your Boss may want to be assured that the staff member has the skills and knowledge needed to successfully complete the task. Here you would describe how you will assess the staff member’s current skills and knowledge, identify any gaps and plan to bridge those gaps

Step six: Describe how the task will be monitored

Again your Boss may be interested in how you will monitor the staff member’s performance of the task and how you will share feedback

Step seven: Agree / describe the next steps

Conclude by describing what happens next; actions and timescales

Summary: The ‘what’ and ‘why’ of delegation

Of course, as a manager, you have the right to delegate tasks. You don’t need (usually) need to ask permission from your Boss (almost every Senior Manager I’ve ever met has told me they wish their managers would delegate more!). However, it makes sense to be able to describe – if you need to – the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of delegation and, specifically, why the delegation would benefit the business

Would you like to learn some new techniques for delegation (in just 10 minutes)?

Yes? The why not take a look at my kindle book ‘Learn in Just 10 Minutes How to Delegate. A Step-by-Step Guide to Effective Delegation’. Check it out on Amazon HERE

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