Preaching The Gospel

Friday, November 28, 2008

Delegating to work colleagues

Delegating to work colleagues
by Odette Pollar

Find out how to delegate to your peers without putting any noses out of joint.
In the new team environment common to workplaces, groups are composed of colleagues, and delegation is not always a top-down activity. Delegating in this context differs from the traditional hierarchical style in significant ways.
1. The entire team is likely to know what each member is doing.


In a boss/subordinate relationship, delegation is not always made public. In group settings it may be the team leader, or any member of the group, who gets the group to agree on specific tasks. This usually means more flexibility and choice about who does what than in the traditional top down situation.
2. If a colleague does not have the same goal as you, it's difficult to get them to do what you want.
Show sensitivity in this situation.
• When asking for help, indicate what resources are available and what support you can give
• Allow extra lead-time so that the person you are delegating to can fit your request into her timetable
• Point out how the task benefits her or helps the department as a whole. Does the project offer her a chance to be noticed by other departments? Will it help her career prospects?
• Offer to do one of her jobs in exchange so that she'll be free to do yours
• If all else fails, your supervisor may need to talk to her supervisor to clarify the importance of your request for help
3. Track the work and get progress reports from all parties involved.
This lets everyone know what other members of the team are doing and ensures that interim deadlines are being met. A quick email to everyone stating what task has been agreed upon is a good reminder. Without this key step, you have no room to manoeuvre if a problem crops up.
Don't forget to thank people for their efforts. It goes a long way!
Traditional delegation tips.

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