Work Delegation Pitfalls
The February 2005 issue of
Association Management magazine, published by the
Society of Association Executives (ASAE) contained an
excellent article on delegation pitfalls. Here’s what ASAE lists
as 12 delegation errors.
1. Failure to identify the higher purpose served. Talk about the value of the assignment to the organization.
2. Lack of clarity. Let the delegate know your expectations – attach numbers where you can.
3. Failure to delegate developmentally. Provide assignments that create stretch, but are doable, considering background and experience.
4. Inability to anticipate radial impacts. Let others know the impact their assignment may have on other people and areas...before they start.
5. Assigning responsibility in excess of authority. Hold them accountable only for things within their direct control.
6. Insistence on being an overachiever. Let go of some things and learn to be comfortable delegating to others.
7. Emphasizing outcomes to the exclusion of method. Let others know the parameters they must work within.
8. Facilitating deliberate redundancy. Don’t assign the same thing to a number of folks and stir up competition. Everyone loses.
9. Abdicating responsibility. At times you may have to step in and handle disagreements (or worse). Do what needs to be done.
10. Failing to impose accountability. Let them know when the buck stops at their desk.
11. Saving their bacon. Delegate consequences as well as work. Stop being the white knight that makes the rescue.
12. Delegating to weakness. Don’t mistake enthusiasm for competence. Give the job to someone who has a chance of succeeding.
As upper-level administrative professionals increasingly supervise other workers and delegate more in their work roles, they need to beef up their delegation skills. Use these pointers.
# # #
Return to IAAP Research and Trends