Making a change like implementing delegation always comes with a disruption and risks. It's clear that effective delegation will improve the performance of your team and therefore result in you improving your deliverables. But the devil is in the detail. This means that total performance will increase but there will be some individual items at risk for a temporary drop in quality or service levels.

Tip: Improve your delegation manager skills. Is your delegation working for you? Take the Work Delegation Checkup to find out.

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Secret Ninja Manager Skills

The Secret Ninja Manager Trick to keeping your stakeholders satisfied with service levels is to engage them in the change process. When they are engaged in the change process, they become invested in making a successful change. Instead of being a barrier to your delegation success, these stakeholders can help you get better delegation results.

You don't need to do this for every delegation you make. Only the sensitive / complicated delegations based on your judgement.

How you do this is:

First inform them that there is a change, explain the positive justification for the change, explain why you are asking them and ask them for their support:

This sounds like:

"I'm implementing some processes to improve the performance of my team and I'd like to ask you for your support because you are an important stakeholder in these changes"

Just like in the delegation process, the key is to get their agreement upfront.

Then explain what you want them to do:

The small goal is that you want them to accept a little disruption.

The more that you ask them to be involved, the more successful you will be because this is how you get people to partner in the success/ failure.

Top suggestions are:

  1. Ask them to work with your direct report to fix problems in the process as they occur

  2. Ask them to work with your direct report upfront to make the process work better. This is a good short cut way to "train" your direct report.

When you engage the stakeholders in your delegation process, then instead of getting problems like:

  • Stakeholders not liking change and,

  • Stakeholders being put at risk of temporary reductions to quality of service...

What you can do instead is engage the stakeholders to assist you in making this change. 

Next Steps

A regular, high quality One-on-One Meeting practice makes managing easy by combining all of your responsibilities into one efficient time slot. One-on-one meetings are also a good place to delegate.

Helpful Resource: Plan and keep track of your delegations with a One on One Meeting Template. Get this and more in the free, online course: 3 Steps 2 Easy 1 on 1s

Find out how to improve your own delegation skills with delegation training. Delegation Essentials is a free, online management training course.

Tip: Doing the course will enable you to get a certificate for your resume.


Do you have any comments, questions or tips about how to deal with delegation problems? Please share in the comments below...