Delegating Assertively

Delegation is the sharing of legitimate work, in any direction, to any other individual or team. In our work as leadership coaches we often encounter leaders who are struggling to delegate so if this is you, you are not alone! To be a successful delegator you must develop trust in others and take calculated risks as they accomplish a task that may be unfamiliar. The big payoff is that they will grow in their capability as you challenge them with more.


There are six steps to delegating successfully:

1. Define the importance of the task.

2. Discuss the outcome that is required

3. Negotiate the authority that the person needs to undertake and complete the task

4. Discuss the resources that are necessary for the successful accomplishment of the task

5. Determine a mutually acceptable time line

6. Agree a feedback loop: There are three elements to this:


  • Immediate feedback: The individual should be able to summarise the discussion and in so doing confirm to you and themselves that the task is mutually understood.  If necessary write the key points down.
  • Monitoring: Determine the level of monitoring that is required throughout the implementation process. 
  • Review: The project is only complete when there has been a review.  This need not be extensive and involves just two questions:  What has gone well?  What would you do differently?  By using this process you are creating a learning environment.



Some questions to reflect on:

  1. What prevents you from delegating well?
  2. If lack of trust and risk-taking get in the way, what can you do to overcome these?
  3. What are the payoffs for you in delegating well?


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