13Common Questions and Resistance to Delegation

What Should You Delegate?

If you're still struggling to figure out what to delegate, there are four tasks you likely engage in currently as a manager that you could delegate to your directs (even, in some cases, rotating these responsibilities among them).

  1. Reporting. Creating reports isn't an effective use of your time. The knowledge one gains from a report doesn't have to come through creating the report—just read it, after someone else creates it. The person who creates it will learn from doing it each week or month.
  2. Meetings. Stop running your meetings. Have one of your directs be a facilitator, that is, responsible for working with the agenda and facilitating the meeting. This frees you up to contribute more and to pay even more attention to your directs.
  3. Presentations. You're probably quite competent at presenting, but perhaps your staff isn't. If you are assigned a presentation, delegate it to a direct, and help the direct create the slide deck (if necessary) and rehearse. The way you learn to do a thing is to do the thing.
  4. Projects. Follow the same procedure as for presentations.

What If a Direct Repeatedly Says No to Delegation Requests?

A direct rejecting a delegation request is, of course, the danger of a model that is built on relationship power and persuasion rather than on role power and giving orders. Your directs can say no.

The risk of being told no, however, is worth it, and here's why. When you use your role ...

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