Tip Sheet 17: How to Delegate

Delegation requires planning, communication, transfer or sharing of authority and teamwork. Councils operate most effectively when the workload is shared.

To get more done, assume the opposite of the following statements is true:

• I could do it better myself.

• I don’t know if I can trust anyone to do it.

• He isn’t qualified to do it.

• She already has enough to do.

• I don’t have time to show anyone how to do it.

• I don’t want to give this task up because I like doing it.

Create a plan before you delegate tasks and consider the following:

• Don’t delegate what you can eliminate. If you shouldn’t be doing the activity,

perhaps you shouldn’t be giving the activity away to others.

• Delegate routine activities such as fact-finding, calling other parents, getting

quotes for a project, writing newsletter submissions, etc.

• Delegate, but don’t abdicate. Someone else can do the task, but you’re still

responsible for its completion, and for managing the delegation process.

• Make sure your expectations and the outcome are clear. What needs to be done

when, and to what degree of detail or quality?

• Be assertive and straightforward. “I need someone to call the hot lunch vendors

and get quotes before the next meeting. Jane, can you do that please?”

• Tell people what to do, but let them figure out how to do it.

• Ask people to provide progress reports.

• Don’t always give tasks to the most experienced person. Spread tasks around.

• Trust people to do well and don’t look over their shoulder, unless they ask for


• Ask people, “What else do you need?”

• Give praise and feedback at the end of the project.