Delegation Vs. Relegation – What Are You Doing?

biz communicationWhen we are building high performance teams it’s not only important to set expectation for performance, it’s also important to be able to properly delegate certain assignments to your staff.  Many entrepreneurs mistake relegation (the act of giving a task for action) with delegation (the assignment of responsibility or authority to another person).

Why is this even important?  Initially, if you are serious about building high performance teams, you want to have the people on your team take ownership for the assignments that they are given.  When we relegate those duties to people they just do what they are told and that’s it. With delegation, you can give the assignment (the what) and allow the person given the assignment to figure out the plan (the how).

When we relegate we are making sure that we constantly have to be giving our people things to do because they grow accustomed to receiving assignments from us, they aren’t given the authority to go beyond that.  Talented individuals will only put up with this style of leadership for so long before they call it quits.

So what can you do to make sure that you are delegating effectively?  Kent Blumberg has an excellent post on the subject. One of the important steps to delegating is to set parameters for the assignment.  This may include deadlines, budget and other resources that are available to you and what decisions can be made.  Bad delegation happens where an assignment is given but with no boundaries.  In this situation one of two things will happen.  The person or team will either go crazy and just get the job done at any and all costs or they will be scared to do anything because they have no borders.   One of the other tips that Kent gives that is powerful is to avoid solely delegating meaningless tasks.  Make sure that your assignments have some substance so that your team can grow.

If you are reading this and wondering how well you are doing with your own delegation, you can take an assessment here.  This will give you the opportunity to see where you are at and make adjustments accordingly.  If you want to build high performing teams within your organization, delegating properly will ensure that you and your team will perform at a higher level.

What has been your experience with delegation, good or bad?  How have you been able to do this effectively?