The Delegating Process
Take the time to plan how you’re going to present the assignment, including your requirements, parameters, authority level, checkpoints, and expectations.
It’s a good idea to write down these items and give a copy to your delegate to minimize miscommunication.
Think about how the ETD practitioner will react. You may think you’re doing a great thing by delegating the coaching assignment to this person, but will he or she see it the same way?
It’s easy to assume the practitioner knows and understands your motivation, but quite often, the practitioner perceives that advantage is being taken instead.
To prevent this, identify the benefits to the practitioner and be sure to communicate these benefits clearly.
When you sit down with your practitioner to delegate the coaching assignment, follow the seven steps described below.
How to Delegate the Coaching Task
Give an overview of the assignment
Explain the coaching assignment in detail
Alleviate the new ETD practitioner’s concerns
Solicit input from the chosen ETD practitioner
Ask for commitment
Arrange for follow-up
Define the resulting reward and recognition for successful task completion
Step One: Give an Overview of the Assignment
Start by explaining to the ETD practitioner the importance of the assignment and why you have chosen him or her for these coaching responsibilities. Refer to the list of assumptions you prepared earlier and to the criteria selection matrix to help you identify and communicate the specific qualities and skills that ideally qualify this person. Be sure to stress the ways this new assignment will benefit the learners.
Step Two: Explain the Assignment
Describe the new responsibility in detail, outlining tasks and subtasks, defining necessary parameters, and setting performance standards for the ETD practitioner and the learner(s).
Make certain the person understands the level or degree of authority that is being conferred. Let the practitioner know to whom he can turn for help and other resources.
In addition, be sure to notify those affected by the practitioner’s increased authority.
Step Three: Clear Concerns
At this point, it’s a good idea to anticipate and clear any concerns the practitioner has about this new responsibility.
Assure the designated coach that you will make sure he/she attends a training program and receives the appropriate tools and resources to do the job.
Also address the time demands created by this new assignment and any necessary reassigning of the practitioner’s current responsibilities to other workers until the coaching assignment is complete.
A practitioner who already feels overwhelmed may worry about completing the work already expected.
It’s your responsibility to help establish priorities and relieve some of the pressure by getting someone to share some of the employee’s routine tasks for the duration of the coaching assignment.
Step Four: Request Input
Ask the practitioner to share questions, reactions, concerns, or suggestions. Ask what problems or barriers he or she anticipates that you have not considered.
You might also ask the practitioner to suggest how the workload can be redistributed during this interim period.
Listen to the practitioner’s comments and respond empathetically.
Step Five: Ask for Commitment
This step helps to get the practitioner to buy into the assignment and will help you determine if the practitioner does indeed understand your expectations.
Be encouraging and express your confidence in the practitioner’s ability to succeed in this new assignment.
Step Six: Arrange for Follow-up
Establish checkpoints, deadlines, and ways to monitor progress. You will want to meet periodically with the practitioner to monitor his or her growth and progress as a coach and to receive feedback about the progress of the practitioner(s) being trained.
Remember that delegating means letting go. When coaching begins, keep in contact with the coach and observe the checkpoints the two of you established. But don’t hover or micromanage.
Step Seven: Define the Rewards
At this point in delegating, describe the reward and recognition the practitioner can expect when the coaching has been successfully completed.