partners in development
                                       releasing the potential of people at work


            How to delegate effectively to your staff or colleagues

Contents                                                                  page

About partners in development and the workshop facilitators                 2
What is Delegation?                                                         3
The benefits of Delegation and what can get in the way                      4
The Tannenbaum and Schmidt model applied to delegation                      5
Steps to effective delegation                                               6
Levels of listening                                                         7
Levels of questions                                                         8
Action Plan                                                                 9

University of Bristol                  1                     partners in development
partners in development is a small consultancy specialising in the field of personal
and organisation development. Our consultants have a wealth of experience in the field, and
share values about learning and people development.

We work with clients from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. We have a special
interest in higher education.


        Susan Chadwick B.A. (Hons), MCIPD
        Susan is an experienced consultant, specialising in personal and organisational change.
        She has nearly 20 years‟ consulting experience, including management development and
        training roles in Ernst & Young and the TDA Consulting Group and three years as an

        Her career includes ten years with niche consultants, Develin & Partners, conducting
        assignments on business process improvement, organisational restructuring, the control
        of overhead costs and the management of change. Susan‟s background gives her special
        insight into the tension which clients often experience between getting the people issues
        right and meeting challenging financial and operational goals, and her aim is to enable
        her clients to manage this tension as effectively as possible. She offers a range of
        interventions - coaching individual executives and teams, workshops in interpersonal
        communication, facilitation of critical meetings and events; reviewing operational
        processes and the deployment of people‟s time at work.

        Susan is a qualified counsellor and an accredited user of Myers Briggs and FIRO-B. She
        has worked regularly and widely in the Higher Education sector over the past seven
        years, for both long-established universities and post-1992 institutions.

        Christine Dyke B.Sc. (Hons) M.Sc. FCIPD
        Christine is a consultant, trainer, coach and facilitator, specialising in helping individuals,
        groups and teams to discover their potential and improve their effectiveness.

        She specialises in helping teams and individuals learn how to develop versatility in their
        ways of working, in particular in relationship building and personal style. Her Masters
        programme in management development included research in the field of emotional
        intelligence. Her interest lies particularly in how people can extend their abilities of self-
        awareness and awareness of their impact on others. Her dissertation Helping Experts
        Learn explored issues related to the drivers and blockers that help and hinder intelligent
        and “expert” people improve their personal effectiveness.

        In the organisational context, she is interested in exploring how emotional intelligence
        can inform strategies for effective management of change. Her work is usually with
        middle, senior and top-level managers, and their teams.

University of Bristol                             2                          partners in development

From Compact Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus

1 Give (a task or responsibility) to a less important person
2 Authorise someone to act as a representative

       appoint, assign, authorise, charge, commission, depute, designate, empower,
        entrust, mandate, nominate

From Wikipedia

Delegation is the handing of a task over to another person, usually a subordinate. It is
the assignment of authority and responsibility to another person to carry out specific
activities. It allows a subordinate to make decisions, i.e. it is a shift of decision-making
authority from one organisational level to a lower one. Delegation, if properly done, is not
abdication. The opposite of effective delegation is micromanagement, where a manager
provides too much input, direction and review of 'delegated' work.

University of Bristol                        3                          partners in development

       Reduces manager‟s personal workload
       Enables manager to keep the overview, rather than be down in the detail
       Allows the manager to manage, rather than do the work
       Increases productivity
       Demonstrates that you value colleagues and staff
       Motivates staff
       Develops staff
       Makes it easier to evaluate staff potential
       Helps plan for succession


       There is no-one to delegate to
       It takes time and effort
       People don‟t want to be delegated to
       You can‟t trust people to do the job
       It is too risky – delegates can lead coups against you
       It makes you feel guilty
       People aren‟t competent enough
       No-one can do it as well or as quickly as you can

    From a workshop survey of academic leaders
    Learning to Lead in Higher Education, Paul Ramsden, 1998

University of Bristol                         4                         partners in development

This model shows how the degrees of freedom that a manager chooses to give to staff
influence the level of authority retained by the manager.

Degrees of freedom

    1. Look into the problem. Give me all the facts. I will decide what to do.

    2. Let me know the alternatives available with the pros and cons of each. I will
       decide which to select.

    3. Let me know the criteria for your recommendation, which alternatives you have
       identified, and which one appears best to you with any risks identified. I will
       make the decision.

    4. Recommend a course of action for my approval.

    5. Let me know what you intend to do. Delay action until I approve.

    6. Let me know what you intend to do. Do it unless I say not to.

    7. Take action. Let me know what you did. Let me know how it runs out.

    8. Take action. Communicate with me only if your action is unsuccessful.

    9. Take action. No further communication with me is necessary.

University of Bristol                       5                       partners in development

1 Define the task
    Is the task suitable for delegating?
    How precise can you be about what is required?

2 Select the person
    What are your reasons for delegating to this person?
    What are they going to get out of it?
    What are you going to get out of it?

3 Assess the person’s development need
    Are they already competent?
    Are they confident?
    Are they motivated?

4 Explain the reasons
    Why is this piece of work being delegated?
    Why to that person?
    What is the importance of the work and where does it fit into the overall work of
      your team?

5 State required results
    What must be achieved?
    By when?
    What standards are required (by you and the organisation)?

6 Check understanding
    Get feedback from the other person to show that they understand what they
      have to do

7 Agree how you will support and monitor progress
    What degree of freedom does the person have?
    When and how will you review progress?
    What support do they need from you?

University of Bristol                     6                        partners in development




Helps and hindrances

                                        Helps                Hindrances

‘Head listening’:                  Genuine interest      Different frames of
the thinking level                 Open-mind              reference
Listening to facts, concepts,      Suspension of         Assumptions
arguments, ideas                    preconceptions        Over-complicating or

‘Heart listening’:                 Quietening down       Effects of listener‟s
the feeling level                   own reactions          own feelings
Listening to emotions,             Empathy               Reactions to „trigger‟
mood, experience                                           words or phrases

‘Will listening’:                  Holding back own      Speaker may not be
the intention level                 way of acting in       fully aware of what
Listening to energy,                situation              they really want
direction, motivation              Looking for           Listener‟s urge to
                                    elements of            impose own will
                                    common direction
                                    and mutuality

University of Bristol                        7                      partners in development


HEAD                        What job are you doing now?
Factual information and     Who was involved in the meeting?
data                        Where did that happen?
                            When did you become a manager?
                            How long have you worked with this company?

HEART                       How do you feel about …?
Feelings, meaning and       What interests you about …?
interest                    How do you think we could go about…?
                            What thoughts do you have on …?
                            What are the likely consequences of …?
                            What would it mean to you if …?
                            What do you get out of it?

WILL                        Why do you want to achieve that?
Attitudes, beliefs and      What is the value of that?
values (inner               Why is that important to you?
motivations)                Why do you believe that?
                            What concerns you about my suggestion?

University of Bristol                     8                       partners in development

How could you delegate more          What might get in the way of you
effectively?                         delegating more?

What specific tasks/projects could   What could you do to manage or
you delegate?                        reduce the obstacles identified

To whom?

University of Bristol                9                     partners in development

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