The Delegation Process (iv): Useful Behaviour After the Delegation
- Delegate credit, not blame. One of the most difficult parts of the delegation process is the issue of credit and blame. If a delegated task is completed successfully, the delegatee should be given the credit. When a delegated task fails, the delegator should accept the blame.
- Delegation involves responsibility without power and so needs mutual trust within the context of a good working relationship. Delegators who try to claim credit or apportion blame to where it is not due will not be able to preserve a good working relationship.
- Review results, not methods. A common belief is that there is 'one best way' to complete a task. Delegating the task means accepting different methods for task completion. The important question is whether or not the task results have been achieved, not the manner in which they have been achieved. Attempts to influence approach will lead to over controlling and give poor trust messages. Once the delegation has been made, the person should be left to carry out the task within the controls you have put in place. He or she should be free of anything but carefully tailored support.
Another danger area is that of taking the credit for someone else's work. It can be tempting, but do not do it. Everyone deserves recognition, and people will admire you if you give credit where it is due but despise you if you claim the glory for yourself. Do not feel threatened by other peoples' success - as their manager, their successes are your successes too.