Delegation: A powerful tool for individual development

Gregg Kershaw, ID Executive Coach & Analytical Psychotherapist

Successful delegation demands the coordination of different skill sets into a potently functioning process to achieve a specific outcome. Coaching and mentoring skills are central to keeping the delegation process on task for delivery of the outcome, as are other essential elements that include, but are not limited to: the ability to plan and coordinate workloads; effective goal setting, monitoring and feedback; the ability to clearly and unambiguously articulate what is required; and the capacity to evaluate progress.

Successful delegation is a powerful tool for individual development, as it provides a clear process for individuals to contribute by creating a culture of support, so that when mistakes are made it is in the context of a monitored formalised process that facilitates significant learning opportunity, a pathway for skill development and the generation of new ideas and innovation. The benefits of delegation in the development of individuals can include increased sense of personal achievement and increased levels of self-confidence and self-worth.

How the person doing the delegating, approaches the delegating, ultimately defines its success and the process of delegation can be a fertile ground for self-development. To maximise this opportunity for self-development, one must reflect upon the delegation process, the functioning of the people within the process and one’s own actions, and important self-reflective questions must be considered. These might include:

· What is my intention in delegating?
· What are my motivations in delegating??
· Have I interfaced responsibility with authority?
· Is delegating compatible with a larger strategy for workplace development?
· Is delegating compatible with a larger strategy of professional development?
· Who will benefit from my delegating?
· What does my delegating mean for the team?
· How do I know if my instructions are understood?
· Have I considered time frames and regular review?
The process of delegation and its capacity for self-development are essential elements in achieving a successful work-life balance, whilst acknowledging the interdependent nature of the modern organisation and the shared responsibility required in achieving a shared vision.

From the perspective of Integral Theory, leadership effectiveness and organisational success depend upon the active integration of the organisational whole with the individual parts. Within this context, delegation can be seen as a practical and actively constructive step in achieving integration and giving life to the maxim ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’.

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