Coaches

A Short Primer on the Art of Delegation

5/22/2012

By Guy Edson, American Swimming Coaches Association

 

The more you are responsible for, the more authority you have. With more authority increases in stability and compensation usually follow. But since you cannot do it all, how do you take on more responsibilities? The answer is learning how to delegate. Here are some tips on effective delegation.

 

1. Learn to let go. Some things have to be done your way. But many things can be done with the same result by other methods. Be willing to let other people run with the ball.

 

2. Analyze potential people to delegate to. Look for levels of commitment. Look for levels of loyalty to you. Look for levels of experience. Look for levels of competence.

 

3. Analyze potential jobs to delegate. Rank jobs from lowest level of experience required to highest level. Rank jobs from least important to critical.

 

4. Match jobs with people and provide appropriate support. See matrix below. Give critical jobs to people with experience, commitment, and loyalty. For these people provide the goal and then get out of the way except to provide support when asked.

 

Give less critical jobs to people with less experience but still high levels of commitment and loyalty. Provide the goals and coach (train) people as needed. With people with lower levels of experience and commitment provide frequent supervision. Generally, do not delegate critical jobs to people of questionable commitment or loyalty.

 

5. Think in the long term. If you have people of high commitment and loyalty but without experience coach them. The time invested will be time saved later on. Also, pair up people of limited experience with people of high experience. In the long run, you will have someone always ready to take over.