Robin Fielder, LDL Founder, looks at how to delegate in an inspirational way.

Read more about LDL leadership training, or have a look at LDL’s one-day Inspirational Leadership seminar.

So how can we delegate in an inspirational way? The answer is delegate the end result, not the method of achieving it.

When we give someone a task we explain what we want done, why we want it done, and by when. But don’t explain how to do it. Let them figure that out. And that is the difference between good and bad delegation.

It is exciting and stimulating to be asked to solve something. But it is intensely irritating to be told exactly how to do it. At the same time we obviously need to make it clear that if they do need some help and guidance then of course we are here for them.

People often say: “If I do delegate a task, they won’t do it as well as I can.” And yes, that’s probably true. But the evidence suggests that as a rule of thumb, if we think they can do it 70% as well as we can, let it go.

And that leads us to that brilliant inspirational leadership phrase, one of our all-time favourite phrases. If you want to motivate and inspire your people, implement this phrase.

When we let go they grow.

And note the word is delegation, not abdication. Most of us have tasks we don’t particularly enjoy, and we don’t particularly want to do them, so what do we do? Well, we get them off our desks, we give them to someone else to do.

And then we tend to forget about them. But that’s not delegation, that’s abdication. The principle should be: delegate and check. Delegate a task, and then check how it’s being performed.

But if someone gives us a task and is then constantly checking how we are doing, what’s our reaction? Well, we think they don’t trust us. So how are we going to fix that? Here’s the secret: check by prior arrangement. “Let’s speak every Friday at 4 o’clock”, or whenever is convenient. By doing it by appointment trust is no longer an issue.

The theme ‘when we let go they grow’, helps us build a high performance workplace. But what about the opposite? What happens if under-delegation exists, where junior staff are given responsibilities less rapidly than they are capable of handling?

Now this can create a lack of challenge, which often leads to attrition and high turnover. Earlier in this programme we discussed the Gallup survey which showed that the number one reason people leave an organisation was their relationship with their immediate manager. So what was the number two reason? Lack of challenge.

So what additional task can you give to your team today? Give them a challenge.

Read more about LDL leadership & management training, or have a look at LDL’s one-day Inspirational Leadership seminar.