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Delegation Is An Art


Delegation is an art. Here's the problem: many believe that once they delegate a task or responsibility to someone, it naturally means that what has been delegated will get done. However, this is not often the case.

Delegation = Done!

With certain tasks or when delegating to highly motivated people - it's possible that what is delegated will get done. But this is not true for everybody. Before a ministry leader assumes that this is true, it's important to confirm that the person understands what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and even why it needs to be done. Clarification while delegating will ensure that what's delegated is actually done.

Delegation + Follow-up = Done!

With many tasks, simply delegating the task doesn't guarantee that it will get done. Often times it is necessary for the ministry leader to follow-up on progress. Evaluating progress can help the person deal with obstacles that may get in the way of completing the task or project. Following-up with the person is also a great way to acknowledge their effort and a great time to encourage them toward completion. Failure to follow-up and evaluate progress, identify obstacles, and motivate to move forward is often neglected by ministry leaders. This increases the likelihood that incomplete tasks will keep the ministry from advancing. Following-up on delegation is necessary to secure the anticipated results.

Delegation + Training + Follow-up = Done!

Ministry leaders need to view delegation as an opportunity for training and development of volunteers. Don't just expect that the person knows how to do what you are asking them to do. Additional training may be required to help the person acquire the confidence to complete the assigned task or role. Training demonstrates a solid commitment to develop people. Yet training takes more time. Often times ministry leaders will choose to do the task themselves, rather than take the time to train someone else to do it. This may evidence an area of growth in the ministry leader who is valuing expedience over the development of team members. Of course, ongoing follow-up of progress after the training is necessary to make sure that what is delegated is actually what gets done.

Delegation + Demonstration + Training + Follow-up = Done!

Sometimes, ministry leaders need to not only provide training and follow-up to ensure that delegated tasks are completed; they also need to demonstrate what needs to be done. Showing people how to do something is an important part of their learning process. Many things are learned by following someone's example. Take the time to show volunteers and ministry partners how to do what needs to be done. The time invested in demonstrating will reap significant benefits related to the quality of what actually gets accomplished. Once again, simply demonstrating won't guarantee results. Combining demonstration with effective training and follow-up will increase the certainty that what is delegated is done.

Consider:

  • What steps can you take to grow in your delegation skills this week?
  • Who do you need to follow-up with to ensure progress?
  • What training might you provide to someone?


(ht: Missional Challenge)

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