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Setting Expectations When Delegating

When delegating a task, managers must set the proper expectations. There may be two key differences.

Remember that setting expectations requires the 4 W’s - who will do what by when and why. Those all still apply. There are 2 differences to keep in mind.

Difference 1: You may need to add some details on How. Don’t tell them exactly what to do, but if this is their first time doing it, then you may want to give them some suggestions. This can help them get started and will be appreciated.

Difference 2: Check in more frequently. Let them know up front that you are checking in not because you don’t trust them, you just realize that this is new and you want to support them. When checking in, don’t ask “how’s it going?” They will almost always answer “good”. You want to ask “what have you done so far?” This requires them to give you more details and will let you know if they are on the right track.

When done, give lots of feedback (positive and negative as appropriate).

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