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How to Delegate

How to delegate

How to delegate SMART

Delegation: the act of entrusting a task to another person.
Delegate as many lower value tasks, as you can, to the right people, for the right reasons, using SMART.

Delegate by means of SMART Targets
Smart targets allow you to communicate the task with greater accuracy and understanding to the other person. SMART means:

Use numbers. Describe the task by always making reference to numbers. Example:
Rather than saying: "Would you get some milk?"
Say "Would you get two pints of milk when you go out?"


Name the way the other person will be judged.
Decide: Which numbers are you going to track?
If you are giving someone a task, you should have a brief conversation about HOW the success of the task will be measured: By what standard?
Example: If I delegated my Web site optimisation to you, what indicators should I be studying to determine whether this was proceeding well, or not?


By reference to the person's skills and knowledge.
Link the task to the person with the skills.
Don't ask people to do what they cannot do.


By reference to the person's current context.
Remember to take into account practical constraints.
Remember that you gave the same person 16 tasks last week!

Time deadline

Put a deadline on it. If you do not, people will procrastinate.
Always put a deadline on the task.
If you say "If you get a chance, would you phone Bill with this message?" then you may assume that Bill won't get the message.
In order to give them some urgency, you MUST put a deadline on tasks.
Because, if it has no deadline, it has no urgency, and it is more likely to be left for another day in the indefinite future.

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Time Management Training

Most people feel they need help with time management. How can you get more done in the same amount of time? How can you stop other people wasting your time? If you want to know how, then click here to find out more about our time management training course.

Three occasions to use SMART Targets

  1. To delegate tasks to another
  2. As a series of questions to ask when another person delegates to you
  3. As a way of setting your own targets for yourself

There are good reasons to delegate some of your work to others:

  • Delegation frees you up for more valuable tasks
  • Delegation helps to develop their skills and confidence
  • Delegation shares the load more fairly
  • Delegation matches the task to the right person

There are many bad reasons for delegating your work to others:

  • You have neglected the task and it has a disaster which you pass on to another
  • You cannot be bothered to do what you should do, so you delegate it
  • Punishment

Here is the point to remember:

Delegate as many lower value tasks, as you can, to the right people, for the right reasons, using SMART.

For more information about time management training visit the Corporate Coach Group website

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