• Delegate to Develop


    Delegation is an important management skill, explains leading Leadership in Management trainer Pete Menzies in our new PODCAST on DELEGATION (See DOWNLOADS.) At the recent very successful IH DOS conference in London, Maureen McGarvey of IH London gave an excellent presentation on the importance of delegation in training. We highlight both presentations here.

    When you delegate you hand over responsibility and authority to another person. You need to avoid what Maureen called ‘Elastic Band’ responsibility – i.e. giving responsibility for implementation but no authority to develop and improve. The reasons for doing so are staff development, increasing experience and skills and giving employees a broader view of the organisation they are working in. It also gives the employee a chance to ‘raise their game’. To quote HERZBERG ‘ If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve already got.’

    However, as Pete Menzies points out, it also releases you, the delegator, for more important duties and opens you up to promotion.

    So delegation is a good thing. It increases confidence. It increases motivation, it opens up new development opportunities and it develops a sense of responsibility in the employee.

    Delegation develops both the delegator and the delegatee – a win-win situation.

    How do you do it?

    The first step is to decide what you can delegate.

    The second, obviously, is who to delegate to.

    The third is how much authority will you delegate? (operational authority, policy, budgeting)

    The fourth is how will you monitor and supervise the delegation process?

    Here there are a number of questions you need to ask yourself.

    - How much time does the delegatee have?

    - How much time do you have to train them?

    - Can they delegate anything to free up time.

    - Can you supervise their work without sitting on their shoulder (parrot delegation) or abandoning them altogether?

    The fifth point is how will you review progress? Liam Brown of the British Council talks of a ‘pre-mortem’ (a review of progress three or four weeks before a new delegation goes live to identify successes and points for improvement). Maureen stresses the need to ‘keep the whole picture in view’ (say what went right as well as what went wrong.)

    The sixth and last point is ‘Where next?’ Is the delegation permanent or temporary? If it is temporary, how can delegates capitalise on what they have learned?

    Delegation is one of your most important and sensitive management tools. As a manager and/or trainer you need to understand how to do it.

    * Listen to Pete Menzies’ PODCAST on DELEGATION in DOWNLOADS.

    * View Maureen McGarvey’s PRESENTATION on DELEGATION at www.ihworld.com

    * IH London and ILC Paris offer programmes on delegation as part of its LEADERSHIP INTERNATIONAL 2 day programme.


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