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Is Delegation just for Leaders?

Updated: Jan 13

In many leadership courses I've taken, it seems like they always talk about delegating tasks and managing the follow up of those tasks.

But, is delegation just for leaders?

Many teams work across functions together to get projects completed. This now allows for varying levels of tasks to be completed all at once. So, if you are part of a team like this and someone asks you to take on a specific task that you think would be better served being completed by another team member, then by all means, why wouldn't you delegate that task?

What opportunities do you have for delegation?

Consider tasks that can be completed with relative ease, are suited to the employee’s skill set, offer some challenge to the employee, and are not well-suited to your role as a leader or team member within a project.

Remember the 4D's of Time Management - one of which is Delegation. The diagram below has some more thoughts about when you should delegate.

Some examples of tasks you might delegate:

  • Research and data gathering

  • Client interactions and follow-up calls

  • Presentation preparations

  • Process improvements

  • Report/document proofreading and editing

  • Following up on requests, questions, or invitations from others

If you're working within a team, let's start practicing delegation.

Use the table below and list tasks you could delegate, along with the appropriate person on your team, as well as your rationale for delegating. An example is included.

Now that you've listed some tasks you think you might be able to delegate to another team member, let's talk about how you would do this, track this, and follow up on this delegation.

If you're using Outlook, you can follow the steps below. If you are not using Outlook, other Email software will allow you to do things similarly, so follow along and you'll get the idea.

Let's say you are part of a project team and received the email shown here:

It seems like you personally have been assigned this task, when all reality is that you are being put in charge of this task and its timely completion.

So, if you've determined there is someone else on this project team, or another team you work with, would be better suited to create this checklist, then by all means, delegate the task to them.

For example, maybe there is someone (let's say Doug) on the team who has already created previous coaching training and checklists. It would be so much better for the person with experience in this area to do the actual work of creating the coaching checklist per the request.

There are several ways you can do this with Outlook.

Let's go thru one way:

You can simply forward the email to Doug and ask him to complete the task.

When forwarding the email, setup a Flag with a Reminder for both you and Doug.

Depending on your Outlook configuration and access to other team members accounts, you will be able to select "Custom" from the Follow Up Flag drop-down list.

The following window opens, allowing you to select reminder settings for both you and for Doug, the recipient.

Make the settings you wish, click OK, then send the email.

On the day you set the reminder, both you and Doug will receive a reminder pop-up.

It's that simple!

Now, this is a quick single reminder, so there are other ways to setup reminders for delegating. This is just an easy one that many people aren't aware of, so I wanted to share with you.

Remember, keep it simple!


If you're interested in learning how to use Outlook for Time & Task Management, download my FREE 65 Ways to Use MS Office to be More Productive! eBook.


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