By Stacy Eads
December 1, 2020

Rules for effectively delegating – Part 1

Dive deep into the first four Rules for Effectively Delegating tasks.
Delegate marker drawing

Last month, I was honored to speak to local business owners and entrepreneurs via the Elevate virtual conference for Oklahoma. Hundreds of leaders and managers logged on for a day of professional development and learning. The topic was such a hit, I thought I’d share it with you all over the holidays. 

December’s Edmond Business column will provide all 8 Rules for Effectively Delegating Tasks and projects to your team. We’ll dive deeper into the first #1-#4 Rules in December. Then in January, we’ll wrap up the final Rules #5-#8 to ensure you kick off 2021 with a new tool in your management kit!

8 rules for effectively delegating

  1. Start with Why to Show The Bigger Picture
  2. Tell them Specific Results You Want
  3. Create Measurements & Monitor Progress
  4. Ask them to Repeat Back Desired Results
  5. Ask them to Commit to Achieving Results
  6. Schedule Milestone Reporting Times
  7. Provide Feedback or Course Correct
  8. Give Timely Recognition to People

1. Start with Why to Show The Bigger Picture

When delegating a major project or task within your company or non-profit, always “Start with Why” to let them see how this project fits in the bigger picture. Why have you chosen them to fulfill this role? How will this team member’s task be helping you personally as the boss? What will it mean to the team’s quarterly goals if they successfully achieve this task on time?

Author Simon Sinek has a fantastic book, Start with Why, that leads this movement. I often show this book summary video to those who struggle in communicating “the why” to their teammates and employees. Watch Simon Sinek’s Start with Why:

Then ask yourself, why am I delegating this task, and why should this person want to give their best effort to it?

2. Tell them Specific Results You Want

When you’re delegating a task, it’s probably something you’ve personally held onto for a long time. As a leader, you may have done this project year after year for a decade. There are many intrinsic steps that you know that the next person performing this role will not. The easiest way to mine that valuable information is to treat it like gold by following these eight steps to delegate effectively.

Ensure you tell them the specific RESULTS you want. Don’t only tell them the checklist. Clarify what results should come from this checklist of steps, tasks, and projects. Help them see what they’re aiming toward.

When you communicate the specific results you want, ensure it’s given BOTH verbally in person and in writing to ensure clarity. Some personality types thrive in minuscule email detail, Excel to-do lists, and lengthy, detailed Microsoft Word instructions. Others quite simply do not. They need a different tactic – thoughtful face-to-face interaction, quality time to ask questions, or the ability to speak up when they don’t understand.

Everyone is different. Learn to manage multiple learning styles by delegating the results you want in-person, verbally – along with a follow-up in writing.

3. Create Measurements & Monitor Progress

When delegating a small or large task, be sure you’ve created a measurement system & monitor progress consistently. Every result should have either a due date or a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) metric that can be measured. Both the leader and employee should be clear on the measure of success.

As the manager, you need to monitor those measurements week to week. Please don’t wait until the end of a project to ask only once, “Did you achieve it?” This leads to frustration on the employee’s side because you gave them a task, ghosted them for 13 weeks, then assumed at the end of the deadline they must have achieved it easily.

Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand that regular check-ins can help ease their fear, encourage daily questions, and excite them to give you weekly progress updates. People are full of emotions. Give them an outlet to speak to you regularly while they’re learning this new task you’ve delegated to them.

4. Ask them to Repeat Back Desired Results

In your initial face-to-face meeting, you have done several things:

  • You start with why to show them the bigger picture
  • You tell them the specific results you want to achieve
  • You create a measurement system to monitor their progress.

Next, be sure to stop, take a breath, and ask them to REPEAT BACK the results as they understand them. Up until this moment, you’ve been driving the conversation. Now let’s shift gears and give them a chance to speak as well. 

Be sure you ask it in the form of a question: “Can you repeat back to me the desired results of this project?” That immediately puts their skin in the game. It allows them to step up to the plate, digest the information provided so far, and repeat it back in their own words. This step shows you as a manager whether you’ve communicated Steps #1-#3 well during the initial meeting. 

Part 2 coming next

Look for my next column, when we’ll complete your deep dive into the 8 Rules for Effectively Delegating! If you’re on the edge of your seat and just can’t wait – I’m happy to email you a Cheat Sheet. I became a Certified International Coach because I loved the idea of sharing these types of tools with other CEOs as I do in this monthly Edmond Business column.

Visit my website to request a free copy of the 8 Rules to Effectively Delegate Cheat Sheet. No strings attached, just a 2-page PDF. Remember, this Edmond Business column is my community give back to my hometown, who has given me so much over my lifetime. Happy Holidays!

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About Stacy Eads

Edmond native & UCO Alumna, Stacy Eads, is an award-winning “Most Admired CEO” who scaled her company as a Woman in Tech before becoming an International Scaling Up Business Coach. She now empowers other CEOs from $2M to $200M to embrace their leadership potential through quarterly strategic planning. Her talent is in high demand to CEO Coach, Train Teams, and Speak at Events in both the U.S.A. and Canada.

Stacy Eads’ career affiliations include 50 Women Making a Difference award, Circle of Excellence award, Torch Ethics award, Most Admired CEO award, Edmond Chamber & UCO Mentor, Better Business Bureau of Central Oklahoma Board of Directors, TEDx OKC Speaker Coach, and Ambassador Chairwoman for the Greater OKC Chamber of Commerce.