“The way you delegate is that first you have to hire people that you really have confidence in. You won’t truly let those people feel a sense of autonomy if you don’t have confidence in them,” Robert Pozen said.
Though the term delegation may be defined consistently as the shifting of responsibility for a task or project from one person (usually a leader or manager) to another, the situations in which it is applied can vary greatly. And in many cases, the leader is doing something very different than delegating.
Here are two factors that can greatly impact the nature of what is being delegated.
Let’s take a closer look at each.
The term “Situational Leadership” was coined by leadership experts Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey to describe how different situations demand different types of engagement between leaders and their people. In essence, they offer four scenarios along a continuum of employee experience and expertise.
Notice that in this model, delegating only occurs after the subordinate has been directed and/or supported, often deeply, for a period of time.
(Note: The Situational Leadership Model does not require the process detailed above be repeated in the exact same way when new, similar projects are introduced. As subordinates build capacity and efficacy, they can be delegated to more directly earlier on.)
Environment also plays a critical role in determining whether one should direct, collaborate with or delegate to a subordinate. Let’s analyze these along the continuum of crisis to stable environments.
As I noted in my earlier post, there are many strong reasons to delegate, and it’s important to not be short-sighted in this area. Leaders who understand what delegation is, what it isn’t and which approaches to use in each situation will be better served to advance projects, build capacity and dramatically increase productivity and workplace engagement.
Naphtali Hoff, PsyD, (@impactfulcoach) is president of Impactful Coaching & Consulting. Check out his leadership book, “Becoming the New Boss.” Read his blog, and listen to his leadership podcast. Download his free new e-book, “An E.P.I.C. Solution to Understaffing.”
Originally published at smartbrief.com