Coaching and Mentoring For Dummies
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Delegating, as a business-coaching tool, means to assign and entrust assignments and responsibilities to others. Effective business coaches realize that delegating isn't about giving people tasks (simple and short-term work items) to do. Rather, it's about having staff take on juicy or meaningful work — projects, duties, and other important assignments. Don't stop asking your employees to do tasks when needed, just recognize assigning tasks isn't real delegating.

Here are a couple examples of delegating responsibilities: "Alex, I'd like you to take on the responsibility of creating the weekly sales analysis report" or "Olivia, I'd like you to tackle a project involving vendor relations and how we can maximize discounts with each one with whom we do business."

Entrust is a key word in delegating: It means that you care about the results of what you delegate and you're willing to provide the support needed to help the employee achieve those results. But you're going to let the employee do the assigned job. You don't have to be hands-on for the right outcomes to occur, but neither are you uninvolved and unaware of what's occurring.

Along with providing the right support comes spelling out clear expectations and maintaining employee accountability. This is what effective delegating means and what empowerment is truly all about. To empower your employees, you

  • Give employees the freedom to get a job done (no breathing down their necks).

  • Provide employees with the right level of support to get the job done well, including information, training, resources, and so on.

  • Hold employees accountable to produce the outcomes needed.

All three actions go together as part of the process. Thus, when you delegate effectively, you empower your staff.

A big part of the misconception many managers have about delegating — misconceptions that fuel apprehensions about it and create a reluctance to do it — is the thinking that by delegating you're completely letting go of control. But giving others a share in the responsibility extends influence and creates commitment to the cause. Control isn't lost; you're just letting go of the burden of doing everything yourself.

That's the whole idea with delegating: You can better leverage your time for higher-level work and extend your influence to greater levels in the organization.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Marty Brounstein, is an author, speaker, and management consultant who specializes in practical applications of coaching techniques.

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