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Management: 5 Questions to Ask When Delegating
by Duncan Brodie

Every successful manager knows just how important it is to effectively delegate. They understand and recognise that no matter how good they are at doing their job, they cannot do it all alone. So what 5 questions do you need to ask yourself when it comes to delegating effectively?

What is the task to be delegated?

At the outset, you need to be crystal clear on what it is that you are delegating. Taking the time to clearly define the task to be delegated greatly increases the likelihood of a successful outcome, not least because misunderstandings are avoided.

What skills are required?

Different tasks require different skills. As a manager it is all too easy to allocate a task to someone without thinking about the skills that are needed to do the task. Take time to list the key skills required for tasks to be delegated. For example, some tasks might require lots of technical skills like using spreadsheets or databases. Some might rely on high levels of people skills, while others might need a blend of technical and people skills.

Who should I delegate to?

There are probably a number of different people that you could delegate a task to. The temptation sometimes is to delegate to the most senior person or someone who has done good work in the past. On the other hand you might miss out on the opportunity to develop new skills or set a new challenge for someone in your team.

What am I going to delegate?

Are you delegating a whole task or part of a task? What part of a task am I going to delegate? Am I going to delegate responsibility as well as the task? These are all key questions that you need to be asking yourself when it comes to delegating. Remember, if you are part delegating, you want to make sure that each individual will be doing the part they will do best.

What's the timescale?

It is often easier to delegate a task with a longer lead time. If you are faced with a tight timescale, it might not be possible to find sufficient time for briefing and completion. The key is to use your judgement and remember that lack of planning on your part is not a good reason for not delegating.

Bottom Line -- If you want to be a successful manager, delegation is no longer an optional extra. It is a key skill that you need to master.

Duncan Brodie may be contacted at
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements Ltd (G&A) works with individuals, teams and organisations to develop their management and leadership capability. Sign up for his free e-course and monthly newsletter at



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