Delegation Master Tips

You’re not going to get far in leadership if you don’t obey these delegation master tips.

Delegation is the skill that lifts you from a strong producer to a leader.  Producers get results on their own.  Leaders achieve results through other people.

That means that leaders know how to inspire others, and have systems to make sure work gets done.

If you want to be a great delegator, obey these simple tips:

  1. Delegation master tip #1: Change your thinking
  2. Delegation master tip #2: Expect AND inspect
  3. Delegation master tip #3: Be patient
  4. Delegation master tip #4: Explain why you’re delegating
  5. Delegation master tip #5: Don’t micromanage
  6. Delegation master tip #6: Say thanks when deserved

Change your thinking

There are many reasons why aspiring leaders refuse to delegate.  Fear and guilt are reasons.

Past delegation disasters also discourage leaders from trying it again.  The old saying is, “Once bitten, twice shy.”

But to be a success in leadership means you have to embrace the idea of delegation.  One of the most important delegation master tips is to believe in the importance of delegation!

Because delegation is just another way to say ‘build leaders.’

Leaders don’t get built unless someone in authority trusts them with a job and helps them progress in their career.  So, begin by embracing the idea of delegation.  Think of it as a good thing; a great thing.  For you and for the person you’re delegating to.

Expect AND inspect

There’s a syndrome that even has a name.  It’s called ‘setting people up to fail syndrome.’

This happens when we give someone a job, briefly explain the results expected, and then walk away assuming they’ll figure it out.  The majority of the time, they don’t figure it out.  Instead, they disappoint us and their confidence falters.  They wonder if they’re able to do the job.

But the fault isn’t theirs.  It’s ours because we ignored the maxim:  Expect AND inspect.

It’s fine to expect great results from the person you’re delegating to.  But you have to inspect along the way to make sure the process is moving smoothly and the person isn’t making huge mistakes that are difficult to recover from.

Don’t only assume the best.  Help the person plan to win, and then drop in for inspections throughout the process to make sure it’s all going to plan.  Intervene where necessary.

Be patient

How much did you have to learn to do the job you’re doing now.  Make a list.  It’s likely a long one.  If you’re a manager it might look something like this:

  • Names of our customers
  • Our product line
  • Everyone inside the company
  • How to deal with a customer
  • Basic sales skills
  • Conflict management
  • Financial literacy

Your list is probably a lot longer, but you get the point.  You know a lot more than you think.  So don’t expect the person you’re delegating to to know these things automatically.  To know something, you must be taught.

Be patient, and recognize that it takes time to build a leader.  Put the time in and see the person flourish.

Explain why you’re delegating

When a person gets a job delegated to them, they may just think it’s more work for the same money.  That of course all depends on point of view.

A key delegation master tip is to begin with the ‘why.’  Explain to them why you’re giving them new work.  It’s not only because you can’t do it all.  It’s also because they need to learn and develop new skills in order to move up in their career.

Once they know you’re delegating because you want to help them as well as you, they’ll be much more open to the idea.

Many people are downright excited when they realize you want to build into their lives and help them develop a new skillset.

Don’t micromanage

Micromanaging is different than inspecting work and coaching along the way.

Micromanaging is controlling every step of the process.  It is communicating that you don’t trust the person you delegated the job to.  It’s making small and large decisions and not trusting them to someone else.

People can’t stand this and for good reason.  How can anyone learn when another person is constantly looking over their shoulder?

So make sure you don’t fall victim to this temptation.  Let the person make some mistakes.  That’s how they learn.  And intervene before they make mistakes that could have serious impact.

Say thanks when deserved

It’s important to use the qualifier ‘when deserved.’  Undeserved praise doesn’t help anyone.  In fact it’s a real problem when others realize that your praise doesn’t mean much.

I think praise is something you give when a person has gone above and beyond.  You don’t give out praise because someone simply did their job.

Praise is reserved for someone who is trying extra hard.

When you take time to praise them, you’ll see amazing results.  Others will strive to receive it as well.  They will work hard to make sure they continue the behavior they see you prize in them.

Praise gives someone ‘gas in the tank’ for weeks or months.

Obey these delegation master tips and you’ll see an immediate difference in your success rate!

In summary:

No one progresses in their career without becoming good at delegating.  If you want to become really good at it, obey these simple master tips:

  1. Delegation master tip #1: Change your thinking
  2. Delegation master tip #2: Expect AND inspect
  3. Delegation master tip #3: Be patient
  4. Delegation master tip #4: Explain why you’re delegating
  5. Delegation master tip #5: Don’t micromanage
  6. Delegation master tip #6: Say thanks when deserved

Man in Library

Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.”  He is also co-founder and senior instructor at

Find more about “The Power of People Skills” here:

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