Five Steps to Stay on TRACK With Your Delegation

Posted 05.25.2011

Yesterday marked the beginning of another Next Level Leadership® group coaching program with a cohort of high potential leaders at one of our client companies. One of the big events in the first day of the program is to review the results of 360 degree surveys we run for the participants prior to session one. The 360 presents the assessments of colleagues on a range of leadership behaviors that people taking on more responsibility need to master.

Like most groups of high potential leaders I’ve coached over the past five years, the group that started yesterday has a lot of opportunity to make a bigger impact by delegating more effectively to the people on their teams. The kinds of delegation behaviors that regularly show up in the Next Level 360 survey as opportunities for leaders include:

  • Regularly takes time to step back and define or redefine what needs to be done.
  • Spend less time using his/her functional skills and more time encouraging team members to use theirs.
  • Makes clear to his/her team the best ways to involve him/her in the process of achieving the desired result.
  • Gets involved in determining solutions only when there is a clear and significant value in him/her doing so.
  • Sets up and uses systems to monitor results and the progress towards them.

With the increasing volume of work that everyone expects to get done, more and more of my clients are asking for help on improving their delegation skills. Based on the best practices of leaders who are really excellent at delegation, I’ve come up with a five step approach called TRACK™.

Here’s how it works:

Task:  Get really clear and specific in your own mind about the task you’re delegating and why it matters.

Request:  Make a clear request of the person you’re delegating the task to. Be sure to cover the what, when, why, who and in-bounds and out-of-bounds parameters for accomplishing the task.

Achieve:  As part of the delegation conversation, paint a picture of what success looks like when the task is achieved. 

Check-ins:  Set up a process for checking in with each other over the course of completing the task.  Most check-ins will be scheduled on a recurring basis.  Be clear about the conditions for when the person you’re delegating to should initiate a check-in that’s not in the schedule.

Kudos and Knowledge:  When the task is complete, offer kudos for a job well done.  Point out specific things that were done well and should be repeated in the future.  Ask what was learned that could lead to an even better outcome next time.

So, that’s my TRACK™ approach to effective delegation. If you give it a try, I’d love to hear your stories of how it’s worked for you? What other tips do you have for keeping your delegation on track?