How To Delegate Effectively: Top 10 Tips


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A good leader can have many qualities, but being able to delegate effectively will always be one of them. It does not only help to avoid overwork, but it is also an excellent tool for improving group cohesion and developing new skills. Not to mention the free time investment.

Of course, learning to delegate effectively requires involvement. The good news is that it can be practiced until it becomes part of your personality. Here’s everything you need to know about effective delegation so you can put it into practice. Are you ready to hand over work that isn’t yours?


  • Knowing how to delegate effectively is an indispensable tool for leading a team. Its many advantages benefit both the manager and the group as a whole.
  • Effective delegation can be carried out in a variety of places, such as at home or at work. In any scenario, the formation of this quality requires five stages of training until it acts autonomously.
  • Knowing how to choose the best time to delegate is one of the most complex tasks. If you know the reasons why it is usually avoided, you will be able to make the best decision.

What you need to know about delegating effectively

If you have decided to get down to work and start practicing effective delegation, you need to know what steps to follow. In addition, there are a number of key factors to consider. Below, we answer the most common questions to help you with the process. Take notes!

What is effective delegation?

Delegating is authorizing another person or group of people to represent you. Doing it effectively also means providing the resources, instructions, and support needed to achieve the expected results (1). It is not just about giving orders, but about creating commitment.

Generally, effective delegation is based on the ability to interact with people in a productive way. For this, trust is a key element. This transfer of responsibilities can take place in different areas, but the main objective is always the common good.

What is effective task delegation at home?

At home, delegating effectively consists of involving children in household tasks. Assigning simple activities to children provides them with values such as responsibility and respect. It also makes them feel part of the group while preparing them for adult life.

What is effective task delegation in the workplace?

In the workplace, being able to delegate effectively consists of transferring projects or functions to a person or a team. It is about handing over the ability to do something that is normally among the tasks of the boss or manager. It is an indispensable work technique for any manager who wishes to optimize their results to the maximum.

Why is it important to delegate effectively?

The first thing you should know is that, as a leader, it is not your obligation to do everything. In fact, carrying all the workload is ultimately a waste of time and money. However, working collaboratively makes the team much stronger, and this can benefit you and make you a better leader.

Despite the need to delegate for improvement and growth, many people avoid it. The consequence of this can be a failure as a team leader. With this in mind, it is essential to dedicate efforts to delegate effectively in the right way.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of delegating effectively are many. For the leader, it avoids overwork and increases free time. For the individual(s) sent to delegate, it demonstrates confidence and allows the development of new skills. Finally, it increases productivity and enhances the overall morale and drive of the team.

The only negative factor in implementing effective delegation is the time required to train the right person. However, given the many advantages, this is an easily manageable process. Additionally, the invested time is always regained as the process moves forward.

Below is a summary of the pros and cons of delegating effectively:


  • Less work
  • More free time
  • Increased productivity
  • Confidence in the team
  • Skill development
  • Group improvement


  • Initial time investment

What are the phases of effective delegation?

For an effective and correct delegation, we can divide the preparation process into different phases. These are:

  1. The delegate does not master the task. This initial phase consists of explaining in detail what has to be done and how it has to be done. Remember that the delegate has no experience, yet.
  2. The delegate masters the task with some guidance. In this stage, you should propose options for the delegate to develop the task in the best way. It is a matter of listening to their proposals, but the final decision is still yours.
  3. The delegate provides value. In this phase, you must give freedom to the delegate to execute their decisions, always with your confirmation. It consists of evaluating their capacity for resolution, initiative, and good judgment.
  4. The delegate acquires autonomy. This stage is the moment to let the delegate decide, as long as they inform you of all their decisions. They gain confidence and you can correct them if necessary.
  5. The delegate acts without having to report. In this final phase, the delegate no longer needs to communicate his choices. This is where you check whether he meets all your expectations.

Note that, in practice, it is impossible to separate the various parts of the process because first, assigning goals requires the delegation of authority, and second, to ensure effective delegation, results must be reported accordingly(2).

Knowing the learning states of the delegate will help you in your daily work as a leader (Source: Sanchez-Blanco/

When is it time to delegate effectively?

Choosing the best time to delegate effectively can be confusing, as there are several factors to consider. In general, it is a good time to delegate when the task matches someone else’s knowledge or skills. When someone is more likely to excel, they are more motivated and committed, which benefits the whole group (3). It is also useful when it comes to tasks that will be repeated in the future.

Another important point in choosing the best time is the importance of the task. That is, if we are talking about a critical task that cannot fail, it may not be the right time to delegate it. Likewise, it is a good time as long as you have time to prepare the individual(s) in question. Finally, you should consider whether you have enough margin to redo the work if things do not go as expected.

Which activities to delegate?

A good strategy for knowing what to delegate is to prepare a list of tasks for the two weeks ahead. Then add the actual time you would spend on each of them. Well, 25% of that list are tasks that you can delegate (4).

If you have already detected that it is time to delegate, now you only need to evaluate the skills of those around you. Also, identify what your strengths are and transfer tasks based on that. Quite often, we delegate tasks that are not meant for us.

Why do we avoid delegating effectively?

There are several reasons that can prevent effective delegation. The lack of time and the feeling of guilt for increasing workload are the main causes. In addition, the lack of confidence in the team and not understanding the priority of the work also play a role.

Another reason for doubt is the fear that the delegate will be more efficient than oneself. Finally, the desire to feel important and participate in interesting projects can also affect. In summary, it is essential to be aware of one’s fears in order to achieve better results.

How to delegate effectively?

Learning to delegate tasks effectively makes you a better leader in any field. It also allows team members to collaborate and get involved in common projects. Try the following steps and you will quickly start seeing results.

Identify the tasks you can delegate

As you know, not everything can be delegated. Strategic or critical tasks will always be your priorities. However, tasks that match someone the skills or knowledge of another person are good options for delegation. For this first step, it is essential to know the team around you well.

If you find that difficult, there are three aspects to look for in selecting the best profile for each task. First, the competencies of the person in question. Second, the volume or workload they are currently managing. Finally, their working style (5).

Always keep in mind that the final result of the work is your responsibility.

Take a look at the Best Task Management Software

Define priorities clearly

Understanding the priorities and complexity of the work makes it easier to decide whether or not to delegate. The best way to define those priorities is to align the task with the team’s objectives. To do this, grouping the work is essential. This way, everyone knows at all times what the others are doing and it is much easier to achieve results.

In other words, assigning tasks to people is not enough. It is important to explain what you want them to achieve and also what it would be like to successfully complete the task. If it is a short-term job, a final delivery date is enough. If we are talking about a long-term job, it is better to set several goals during the process.

Understand each person’s strengths

This point is essential for successful and effective delegation. Do not delegate work to someone just because they have the ability to do it. We all have strengths and weaknesses, investigate those around you.

It is also useful to know that just because someone has the ability does not mean they have the availability. You must find a balance between the two (6). A good strategy in choosing a delegate guarantees success, so take your time.

Give clear instructions

To delegate effectively a task, you must ensure that the other person has everything they need to thrive. This includes the following points:

An information-focused coaching strategy is conducive to goal achievement (Source: Sanchez-Blanco/

Invest in training

It is a mistake to think that you cannot delegate certain work because you are the only person capable of doing it. It’s more cost-effective to train team members so they can perform those tasks in the future. You should think of this training as a long-term investment.

In summary, delegating effectively is an excellent way to develop your own skills and those of the people around you. Remember that the job may seem easy to you, but it will be completely new to the other person. It is important to spend time preparing them so that everything moves in the right direction.

Prioritize communication and feedback

Communication is the key element of effective delegation. First of all, you must ensure that whoever is carrying out the task can communicate with you if they need to. Scheduling frequent meetings is a very useful method.

Read our Guidelines for Effective Communication

Secondly, offering feedback and asking for opinions improves team communication. Also, listening to other points of view prepares you for future projects. To avoid blocking the delegate, it is important to show a total willingness to listen and offer help.

Focus on results

The end result of the task is what determines the success of the delegation. Keep in mind that each person follows a different process when it comes to getting the job done. Therefore, it is important that you do not spend too much time explaining how things should be done.

This allows the delegate to develop their own skills while demonstrating confidence in them. The important thing is to achieve the desired results regardless of the differences there may be in the way of achieving them.

Trust, but verify

As a leader, one of the most difficult points in delegating effectively is knowing how to step back. This fosters the independence and autonomy of others. You must strike a balance between letting the other person do the work and checking that they are doing the right thing.

For this, regular consultations or meetings are appropriate. Likewise, the results report helps you to know the status of the task. In other words, it is about confirming that your help is not necessary, without constantly supervising the process.

Avoid reverse delegation

Reverse delegation is a potential drawback of effective delegation. It occurs when the delegate comes to you to execute or decide, and you do it. This creates a vicious cycle that prevents the delegate from being fully autonomous. Additionally, it steals the time that you precisely want to achieve with the delegation.

Reverse delegation is the result of not having given the right guidelines for the delegate to do their job. The first step to solving it is to become aware of it and accept that it is your responsibility as a leader. The remedy when this happens is to ask open questions such as: How would you do it?

Acknowledge the work of others

When making the bottom line of the assignment, you should make sure that the author receives their acknowledgment. This builds the delegate’s confidence and self-esteem. Make sure that no one takes credit for anyone else’s work.

It is also important to acknowledge the work done and encourage the implementation of new ideas. At this point, listening to suggestions for possible future work is also very positive.


Delegating effectively can be tricky, especially if it is your first experience as a leader. Sometimes, too much responsibility can cause you to take the wrong decisions. The art of effective delegation gets better with practice, so you should work to improve it.

For example, before moving on to large projects you can practice delegating small tasks. You must be patient and remember that everyone performs differently. Finally, learn from mistakes and take notes of what works so that you can continue to implement it in future delegations.


Delegating effectively is an indispensable quality for any good leader. It is about empowering someone else to act in your place, creating a mutual commitment. Knowing what to do at all times and knowing the phases of the process is essential to achieve good results.

Factors such as trust, communication, and guidance are key elements to mastering it. You must also avoid behaviors that prevent you from taking action. The multiple benefits it generates make effective delegation a successful tool. What are you waiting for to put it into practice?


1. Turregano C. How to delegate effectively, a leadership manual for getting the job done. Greensboro: center for creative leadership; 2018

2. Diaz J. Organizational change: a values-based approach. Venezuelan journal of management [Internet]. 2017 [cited 12 Oct 2022]; 10(32).

3. Harvard Business School [Internet]. Cambridge: HBS Online; c2020 [2021; cited 13 Oct 2022]. How to delegate effectively: 9 tips for managers [approx. 2 screens].

4. Property Buyers [Internet]. Madrid: PB; c2022 [cited 12 Oct 2022]. Learn how to delegate effectively at work [approx. 1 screen].

5. GBS Human Resources [Internet]. Valencia: Estébanez; c2020 [cited 12 Oct 2022]. 6 tips to delegate effectively [approx. 1 screen].

6. Prossack A. How to delegate effectively. Forbeswomen [Internet]. 2020 [cited 13 Oct 2022];1.


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