The Art of Delegating Part 2 — Listen and Repeat After Me

“But you said go roll it out at 1:00, so that’s what I did….”

Oh but not like that……

How many times have you concluded that your employee must be a real idiot to have screwed up a task so badly? You wonder why in the world he/she gets the same thing wrong, over and over. ArtOfDelegating2 Yet, the employee feels like he/she followed your instructions perfectly?

Clear, two-way communication is essential to ensuring the job is done right.  How hard can that be?

First, make sure your delivery is positive.  How many times have you thought to yourself  “oh no, here we go….” with dread about getting a new assignment?  Well guess what? Your staff most certainly does this too.  Think about how you sound as you explain the scope of a new task or project.  Are you the bringer of dread?

Be upbeat, speak slowly, and include all important aspects of the assignment, including cost parameters, urgency of timing, quality expectations and ‘what if’s’.  Assure your staff you intend to provide plenty of support tools via email or print as needed.  It’s important to make clear what it is you are asking for, not necessarily how to get it done.  Make it clear that you are there for them if they have questions or concerns.

Then ask your employee to say back to you what he or she understands the task or project to be. There’s always more than one right answer.  Their interpretation may reveal a different way of getting the same job done—perhaps in a better way.  That’s your golden opportunity to guide your employee into taking ownership of the assignment, and clear up any misunderstanding about what the task actually is.  It’s also an opportunity for your employee to ask questions as to how you’d prefer the task be done, or make suggestions.

If every time a task is slightly “complex” your worker has to endure a 30 minute oration by you mid-stream that belittles them or assumes they are not competent when in fact it was your poor instructions or unexpected outside factors that got them stuck in the first place, that employee is going to be less and less enthused about coming to you for… anything. 

Once you are both on the same page, agree on a time to circle the wagons.  Unless you are comfortable with going from zero to complete without any communication or clue how things are progressing, make sure you establish expectation requirements on getting progress updates throughout the project.  Use this time to provide positive feedback to your employee, as well as find out how they are feeling about the project.  This will give you some piece of mind to see how things are coming along, or allow you to get things back on track before it’s too late.

Have you experienced bad delegation as an employee? Have you struggled with delegation as a manager? We would love to hear about your experiences. Feel free to share this post with others who may find value and interest in exploring limitless possibilities with PR Brady AdVentures.


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About PR

I’m an “Oily Yogi” ready to inspire you to reach for limitless possibilities.

With a lifetime of experience in the outdoors, one of my biggest joys is to share my passion for adventure with others. After spending decades in suits and buildings, I found a way to combine the office and the outdoors in a way that optimizes positive results. There is a clearly defined correlation between nature, sensory contact, and high impact performance.

I am recognized as a change agent, who inspires people to allow their dreams to become reality through group and individual experiential settings. But perhaps the best gift I can bring to the table is my passion for your wellbeing. I enjoy coaching and training others to achieve their personal and professional goals, focusing on health, wellness wholeness, and limitless possibilities. Everything starts with the self; and is unique to each person. Simply tuning into the breath, mindfulness, and gentle movement for starters. Whenever I can, we take the work outside.

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