Enhance Your Delegation Process With Effective Follow Up

In the past, one of the processes we reviewed in the Dale Carnegie Course dealt with delegation. It has since been moved over and further enhanced in the Leadership Training for Managers program. However, participants taking the Dale Carnegie course can still use their communication skills to leverage the power in the delegation process and help their employees accomplish more.

Now, consider this. When one of your employees comes to you with a problem or an issue regarding an assignment that you delegated to them, how you address it will determine how much work you are giving yourself. Here are three methods of responding when your employees bring you their challenges.

The Buy Back

Do you find yourself using statements like the following?

  1. Let me thing about it for a bit.

  2. I’ll let you know when I have a free moment to take a look at it.

  3. Leave it here. I’ll take a look at it in a moment.

  4. I’ll check with some of my sources and see what they come up with.

  5. I’ll draft up a couple of ideas and give them to you in a bit.

  6. After I finish dealing with this review let’s sit down and discuss some options.

We call this the Buy Back option because you are buying back the responsibility and negating any forms of accountability. With phrases like these, any delegation is negated. The assignment remains with you, not with the person you are coaching. There is no progress on the project until you do something to make it happen. In short, you still own it.

Put It In Limbo

Do you respond with anything like the following?

  1. Send me a memo and I’ll take a look at it when I get around to it.

  2. Why don’t you check with Bill in engineering? I think he saw something like this.

  3. Draft up a proposal and then let’s talk.

  4. See me later about this.

  5. Let me know if I can help with the contacting people for you.

  6. We’ll have to do something a little later. I’m busy right now.

We call this Putting it in limbo because the outcome, while defined, is never reached. No plan of action or discernible activity moves anyone closer to the completion of the task or reaching the outcome. With phrases like these, the process of accountability is slowed. Decisions are delayed and ownership is unclear. Delegation is only partially completed since clear accountability is not defined.

Establishing Accountability

By responding with phrases like the following:

  1. I know you can do this.

  2. I’m counting on you to see this through.

  3. I gave this project to you because of your expertise with these types of systems.

  4. What are you going to do about this issue?

  5. What’s your plan for moving the project forward?

  6. I know you will get this done.

You have reached the point of establishing accountability. The outcome is kept with the individual. Your statements reinforce your position and your belief that the individual is the right choice to get the job done. With phrasing like this, you clearly indicate that the individual is still accountable for the results. The delegation process is complete and progress is more likely to occur without your intervention.

Here are some additional tips that your follow up process should include to stay positive and reinforce the abilities in the individual.

  • It should include predetermined, desired results of the follow-up.

  • It should include predetermined and communicated performance standards.

  • It should include indicators that connect to the performance standards.

  • It should include flexibility to change due to current information.

  • It should be a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Discover additional ideas and ask your questions about the delegation process on our Facebook page.

Larry Prevost
Dale Carnegie Instructor, Social Media Evangelist
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