I Have Too Much On My Plate and I Don’t Mean Food! 9 Tips for Successful Delegation

How many times have you said that you have too much on your plate?  Do you have too much to do and not enough time? Do you hold back from delegating because everyone is also busy?

A few years ago, I facilitated workshops on managing your priorities. These workshops started at the senior level of the organization all the way to the individual leaders. Among all of the tips and techniques for managing your priorities, everyone decided that they could agree to delegate something “off of their plate.” That “something” could be a project, a process, an activity or a simple task.

A month later, I came back to facilitate a session on giving and receiving feedback to the same group of individuals. I prepared myself for the impact of everyone delegating tasks down the organizational ladder. I was surprised by their feedback to me.

The impact of delegating tasks to others had a positive effect on the organization, at all levels. People were motivated and inspired on both sides of the delegation. The person who delegated was relieved not to be doing the task and the person who received the new responsibility felt valued and appreciated. The magic of delegating is truly what you say and how you say it.

Here are 9 tips on delegating something “off your plate”:

  1. Differentiate between projects/activities/tasks you must do and those that can be delegated (consider strategic importance, necessary skill set, internal politics).
  2. Choose the activities, task or process you want to delegate, and determine the skills that are required to be successful on this task.
  3. Identify who would be motivated to take on the new task and what skills that they have or need to develop. The intent is to delegate a task not dump the work.
  4. Setup a face to face meeting. Describe the context for the task and how it fits in the larger picture.
  5. Work with the person to clarify the objectives and standards required for success.
  6. Gain agreement on roles and responsibilities.
  7. Identify the timeline and resources that are available—help secure those necessary resources.
  8. Set  a date for a progress review.
  9. Let go of the task and get out the way!
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One Response to I Have Too Much On My Plate and I Don’t Mean Food! 9 Tips for Successful Delegation

  1. Fran Johnston says:

    Sounds do-able, I think I will give even more attention to this. Thanks for the nudge, Laurie.

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