Learning to delegate effectively

Learning to delegate effectively.

But what do we actually mean when we say “delegate”?

Wikipedia defines it like this:

“Delegation is the assignment of any responsibility or authority to another person to carry out specific activities. It is one of the core concepts of management leadership”

It then adds this over-rider:

“However, the person who delegated the work remains accountable for the outcome of the delegated work”

So, delegation is the empowerment of a “subordinate” to make decisions. In other words, it moves decision-making authority from one organizational level to a lower one … but only within specified projects or tasks.

Considered one of the most difficult skills to master, delegation is also one of the most valuable. It takes time, effort and organisational skills. But it can be learned.

And once you’ve mastered effective delegation, you’ll have the key to strengthening your leadership, reducing your own workload, better meeting your responsibilities and helping develop capacity in the members of your team.

The Six Steps to Delegation


Michelle Randall, the leading expert at Enriching Leadership International (ELI) www.enrichingleadership.com suggests that the following 6 steps are those you must follow to become an effective delegator. In turn, that will make you a better leader in a work environment that

“is more productive, fosters creativity and opportunities for growth and focuses on the importance of communication.”


And that’s a lot of long-term positives for something that is not really all that hard to get to grips with.

Claiming that most managers and leaders only do one of the essential steps, while some conduct two of the steps.  But …. delegating for outstanding results is a formula and not a transaction – which is the more usual way of looking at it.

At its core, say the pundits

“delegation is an act of trust.  When successful, the relationship between leader and employee is strengthened. When ineffective, it can get one or both fired.”


Skills developed by delegating are planning, communication, self-management, and transfer of technical skills. These are developed in both the delegator and delegate!

Here is the process

Set the habit of moving through each of these 6 steps whenever you have need to delegate. It will be a bit tricky at first. But each time you do it, it will become easier until it’s “part of your managerial DNA.  As ELI predicts: “You’ll flow through it easily and reap consistently outstanding results”.

  1. Prepare

  2. Assign

  3. Confirm Understanding

  4. Commit

  5. Avoid “Delegating Back”

  6. Be accountable


Want a hand on the best way to tackle each of these steps?

You’ll find an excellent clear and concise explanation of each step at www.enrichingleadership.com/the-six-steps-to-delegation. .But just remember: “ Successful delegation is about results – what is to be accomplished rather than how to make it happen.”

Note: While this organisation has no affiliations with Windsor Group, we are sharing because we find its approach to be accessible, rigorous, informative and well worth a read.