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Communicating Delegated Tasks: Requirements & Examples

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

In order to delegate well, you need to learn how to communicate effectively. This lesson reviews the requirements for effectively communicating tasks that you need to delegate.

Delegation and Communication

Delegation is an integral part of being a manager, and to delegate successfully means that you must have effective communication. When you are delegating or passing on responsibilities to your team, it is imperative that you can deliver the task in a clear manner and keep the lines of communication with your team open. This can make all the difference between transforming you and your team into a highly productive and competent unit and one that is inefficient and confused. This lesson will cover some important requirements for effectively communicating tasks when you need to delegate.

Delegation is a Process

Before we begin, it's worth clarifying that delegation is not just handing off a task and then throwing caution to the wind. It's a careful and thoughtful process in which communication begins when you, as a manager, deliver the task, continues as you monitor its progress, and finally ends with giving and receiving feedback.

Now that we have that out the way let's look at the ways in which we can make communication more effective!

Delivering the Task Clearly

As a manager, it is your job to ensure that delegated tasks are clearly communicated to and understood by your team. Otherwise, you risk deviating from your project objectives and, as a result, wasting time trying to get back on track. To deliver a delegated task effectively, consider the following:

  • Provide very clear and succinct details about the task and expected outcomes.

Your team will need to know what it is they have to do and the outcomes they should expect. Provide context, let them know your instructions, and the resources available to them. For example, if you delegate your team to ''test the new software'', you should indicate what the software is, what should be tested, what outcomes you are expecting, and when the deadline is. Additionally, you may also want to provide more guidance to newer staff compared to more senior staff.

  • Explain why the task is important.

If you were asked do something with no purpose, would you do it? Probably not. Thus, you need to explain the importance of the task and how it connects to the project's goals. Also, talk about how success can impact the team, future opportunities, and so on. This will help your team get motivated and focused. For instance, let your team know that testing the software needs to be done to ensure that it works properly for accounting and payroll. If the software is error free, paychecks will be distributed faster.

  • Focus on the desired results.

Don't fuss over how the task should be done, but rather focus on what should be achieved. Note that you should avoid micro-managing and allow your team the freedom to work on their own. This will build trust and competence.

  • Assign accountability.

Let your team now know that they will have appropriate authority to complete their task. For example, you may grant them access to certain files or allow them to approve certain budget items. By doing this, they can make their own decisions without needing to consult with you every step of the way. As a result, your team will gain a sense ownership for their work.

  • Set deadlines.

Setting deadlines will help your team prioritize their work. If you don't set deadlines and communicate this clearly, the task may linger or simply not get done. So remember: deadline equals priority which equals action!

  • Use positive language and tone.

While communicating with your team about a delegated task, try to use positive language and tone to keep your team engaged and motivated. As well, be open to comments and address questions that come up.

When you follow these principles, communication will be clearer, and you may notice that delivering the task requirements to your team isn't as tough as it seems.

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