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Delegation And Empowerment: Levels Of Freedom

When you delegate tasks or processes, you transfer a certain level of freedom in how the tasks are to be handled. These levels range from simply giving instructions to be followed right through to handing over a complete project that then becomes part of the person's job description.

But how do you decide? Here are three measures you can use:

1. The level of experience of the person to whom you are delegating. How much experience does this person have with the company? With the department? How familiar are they with the work involved? Have they had a chance to see you, or someone else, carry the task through so that they have some idea of what will be involved? Someone who is totally inexperienced in the area may still be able to do it, but they will need more supervision and the level of delegation will be at the lower end of the scale.

2. Proven reliability. Some people always come through. If they promise something by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, you can set your watch by its arrival. This is a very desirable trait in an employee, and one you should encourage and develop. With this person, you will still follow the delegation process including timelines and benchmark reporting dates, but you'll have more confidence in them being met.

3. How critical is the task? If a lot is riding on the success of the task, you should weigh the first two points carefully because your choice of person may well be the difference between success and failure. Test people with less critical tasks at first, and as they prove themselves worthy of your trust, move them up the delegation levels.

One of the great benefits of effective delegation is the empowerment of employees, and success or failure can depend on handing over just the right amount of freedom with the task. Use these three guidelines to help you delegate each task at the most appropriate level.

Submitted by:

Helen Wilkie

Helen Wilkie is a professional keynote speaker, workshop leader and author, specializing in applied communication at work. Visit http://www.mhwcom.com and subscribe to Helen's free e-zine, "Communi-keys", and get your free 40-page e-book, 23 Ideas You Can Use RIGHT NOW to Communicate and Succeed In Your Business Career"


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