by Phil Manington

Who to delegate to

When choosing the appropriate person to delegate a task to, you need to consider each of the factors listed below.

  • Their ability and experience – you want to stretch them, not break them!
  • How reliable they are – if the task is critical, you want to be confident they will deliver.
  • Their attitude – most people enjoy additional responsibility, but some do not. They may resent being given what they see as extra work, or they may blame others when things go wrong. This attitude needs to be changed before you can delegate to them. This is much easier said than done! A number of topics can help (see Rapport, Motivation, Leadership and Difficult People). Also you need to be aware that, at the end of the day, some people just don’t want extra responsibility.
  • What motivates each individual: where possible, you want to choose someone who will be interested and stimulated by the task you are giving them. Their motivation will also affect how you ask them (see Motivation for further help).
  • What experience would be useful for them: for example, you might delegate two people to a task and make one of them responsible so that person starts to get team leader experience.