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7 Rules To Live By When Delegating At Work

If you want to be productive and successful at work, you need to stop being that person at work who handles delegation well and work toward being the person who delegates well. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but the key is that those instances must be few and far between if you want to manage your time well and accomplish priority items timely.

In my opinion, there is only one instance where this rule does not apply and that is if you are a new associate and green at that. In this instance, sorry buddy, you will get more than your fair share of grunt work, and yes, they will give you stuff that’s out of your scope. If you are ambitious and want to climb higher and become the delegator, you need to impress and take on as much as you can handle. Don’t bite more than you can chew, since you don’t want to disappoint and make yourself look incompetent by failing to deliver or delivering poor quality work.

There is nothing novel about the benefits of delegating, but the fact of the matter is, people just don’t seem to do it well. Whatever your reasons may be, push them aside and make it a goal. If you can do it, you will find more time to handle substantive and visible projects, improve your development and talent, and become a leader. Before I delve into the strategies that I recommend in becoming a delegator, I’d like to emphasize the need to use common sense when delegating tasks. For instance, if a particular project or assignment has your name written all over it, you may want to consider keeping that one all to yourself or just delegating minor pieces for others to help out with.

7 Rules to live by when delegating

1. Let go of the notion of being the “nice guy” (or gal) at work
2. Find out who your co-workers within and outside your division or group and get to know them by introducing yourself and asking about their role
3. Assess people’s skills, strengths and areas of expertise (this is important when delegating since you want to tie their role and expertise to the project)
4. Always think about “what’s in it for them” (this is an important selling piece when you make the request, but it can be as simple as making it known that the project is highly visible)
5. Expect people to say YES and be confident
6. Give credit and recognize their work (this is critical to future delegation efforts and your managers/directors will see you in a different light… you can manage~!)
7. Manage the projects you delegate properly and communicate expectations clearly (this is different than managing the people)

Start out slow if you are new to delegating. How you delegate and your approach will vary depending on who you are asking, so be creative when approaching and making that request. Also, remember that once you delegate, you are giving that person the right to own that task. If you are very particular and picky, then you will probably want to make changes to the end product. If possible, I recommend keeping that to yourself, and if not, then just mention that you’ll look over it and incorporate your comments before submitting it. Good luck!

  • Published 01/4/10

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