Research shows most people are not effective at delegating. “I’m hating delegating”, a reader mentioned. Besides her poetic efforts, she speaks on the behalf of many.


When delegating, most people create resistance. Imagine approaching someone and explaining, “In a moment I’m going to tell you to do something. When I do, agree to do it. Then, after I walk away, roll your eyes and say, “Whatever!”

Sounds crazy, but the methods often employed in attempts to delegate are equally destructive. The result? People and teams are dismantled- and less work gets done.

“I’ve had a belief system that delegating work to others is like dumping it on them,” said a smart executive. Raise your hand if you like having work dumped on you?


Yet, delegating is crucial if organizations are to thrive. Here are five steps to delegating with integrity:

  1. Ask for help. Sure, people are getting paid to work. But showing respect never backfires.
  2. State clearly what must be done and why. Providing clarity and vision for others is a powerful motivator.
  3. Ask a question to ensure alignment. Assuming they know how to do the job is a guarantee it won’t get done right.
  4. Tell them what you are able to do because they are taking on the new task. If you don’t take this step people will assume you’re delegating so you can go fishing.
  5. Provide feedback. Sincere, specific and selective words in your follow-up ensure better results in the future.

How you delegate determines whether you get a “whatever” with rolled eyes, or a “whatever I can do to help” response.

What is the difference between what “might be” and what “can be”? You decide.

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