The following skills exercise is focus on how manager can develop empowering people (delegating) skill. According to Robbins & Coulter (2012), clarify the assignment, specify the employee’s range of discretion, allow the employee to participate, inform other that delegation has occurred, and establish feedback channels are the five actions that separate an effective delegator from a ineffective delegator. It is essential for manager to be effective delegator because not all managers have the time or knowledge to work on every single project.
To practice the five skills, Robbins and Coulter have provided a scenario. The scenario involved a manager (Ricky Lee) who is currently does not have the time for a new project, the boss (Anne Zumwalt) who want the manager to prepare the department’s new procedures manual, and Ricky’s employee (Bill Harmon) who is going to be task with the project. The team (Team B) is going the five actions as a guideline to solve the problem. In the captioned scenario, one should first receive permission from Anne Zumwalt to task Bill Harmon with this project. Bill is chosen for this assignment for his three years experience in the contracts group; therefore, he is more than capable of completing the task in a satisfactory manner. One would then need to sit down with Bill and see if he has the time and motivation to complete the task (Robbins & Coulter, 2012). If Bill agrees, one would then explain the details of the project. This can be achieved by specifically identifying the content and scope of the manual. If there is a certain standard format, that should be discussed as well. It would need to be pointed out that thorough research, reference material and accurate information is expected in the manual. As recommended in Robbins and Coulter (2012) Bill should then be given a deadline. The Friday of the week prior to the end of the month would give Ricky time to review the work and direct any changes.
Robbins and Coulter (2012) explains the next step as, “Specify the employee’s range of discretion” (p. 282). Ricky would then need to explain to Bill what his range of discretion is for this project. As this is a fairly large project with a short deadline, it would be advisable to give Bill discretion to delegate sections of the manual to those employees with experience in each section. Ricky should insist that all although Bill has the freedom to task others for help, all final decisions rest with Ricky to ensure someone is not pulled away from other projects. Ricky should also tell Bill to use all of the resources he needs at the office to complete the task. The next step is to specify the level of participation the employee will have in the project (Robbins & Coulter, 2012). Regarding Bill’s level of participation in the project, that decision should be left to him and will depend on his leadership style. Bill should be reminded that ultimately, the project is his responsibility, regardless of his level of participation. At this point, a meeting with all of the employees should be held where Ricky would announce what has been delegated to Bill for this project.
Robbins and Coulter (2012) indicates the purpose of this step is to let others know that a delegation has occurred, to whom and what its circumstances are. Ricky should stress with everyone that this is an important project, during which, everyone should give 100% of his or her energy. Ricky should articulate that Anne Zumwalt has given him discretion to task others with parts of the project so there would be no challenge to his authority. To establish feedback channels as discussed in Robbins and Coulter (2012), Ricky should instruct Bill to give him progress reports each Monday about the prior week’s work to ensure he stays on track. Ricky should also instruct Bill to have the project completed the Friday of the week prior to the end of the month. This way, there is time to review the manual, make adjustments and smooth it over before the deadline. It would also be advisable for Ricky to check on Bill randomly during each week to ensure he is not abusing his authority or is on the wrong track with the project.
“Delegation is an art that must be practiced. Few people are born with this innate ability, but given time and practice, they can learn to become
confident and tactful delegators” (Mahoney, 1997) Anne was clear in her directions to Ricky as she disclosed her requirements and briefly yet in great detail defining the assignment, specify the employee’s range of discretion, allow the employee to participate, inform other that delegation has occurred, and establish feedback channels. Which in turn Ricky too practiced the five actions that separate an effective delegator from a ineffective delegator when informing Bill of the assignment. I enjoyed both Anne and Ricky actions: Anne describe the real basics what we call the who, what, when, where and how.
And Ricky took the bull by the horns and in his requirements went a bit further into the details. Ricky laid an outline, timeline and left the team a week to fix any short comings if needed once Bill completed the task. I thought that was excellent in his planning. The other think I admired in this process was Ricky’s ability to recognize his own work load and knew right away who to delegate to and knew that persons skill set, all which tells me Ricky is a very in turned type leader. If Ricky had not delegated to Bill the project probably would not have been as strong as a final product because of his current work load. In my years of leading and managing I have observed many leaders take on more than they could handle and bad things happen. Delegating is skill that all leaders, managers must possess to be effective in a greater sense. Meaning managers must know their people and their skill sets and of course trust their team greatly to delegate task. Both Anne and Ricky clearly practiced the five skills present in Robbins and Coulter book.
Robbins, S.P. & Coulter, M. (2012). Management. (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Janet Mahoney, Nursing Management, (1997), (Volume 28) (Issue 6), Springhouse Corporation, Chicago
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