How to Delegate Effectively and Still Maintain Control

Reviewed & edited by Lenny Terra -This blog is supported by its readers. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

You may be one of those people who is hesitant to delegate tasks because you’re afraid you’ll lose control.

You may think that if someone else does the task, it won’t get done the way you want it done. Or, you may feel like you’re the only one who can do it right.

But delegation doesn’t have to mean losing control. In fact, it can help you maintain control by allowing you to focus on what’s important.

Here are ten tips for effectively delegating tasks and maintaining control:

Understand the different types of delegation.

There are five different types of delegation:

  • Instructive: You provide step-by-step instructions on how to complete the task.
  • Directive: You tell the person what needs to be done, but you don’t provide detailed instructions on how to do it.
  • Consultative: You discuss the task with the person and get their input before deciding how to proceed.
  • Supportive: You let the person know what needs to be done and offer help if needed, but you don’t micromanage them.
  • Facilitative: You give the person the task and trust them to figure out how to complete it best.
Understand the different types of delegation

Choose the right type of delegation for each task. Some tasks are better suited for one type of delegation than another.

For example, if the task is something that the person has never done before, you may want to use an instructive or directive approach so that they know exactly what needs to be done.

On the other hand, if the task is something that the person has done before or is confident in their ability to do, then facilitative delegation may be better so that they can take charge and figure out the best way to complete the task.

We will focus on the supportive approach to delegation since it is the middle ground between directive and facilitative. Thus, it strikes a good balance between providing guidance and giving autonomy.

Define what needs to be done and create specific instructions.

The first step is to identify what needs to be done and create specific instructions.

Relevant Information.

Be sure to include all the relevant information so that the person you are delegating can complete the task successfully.

To create clear and concise instructions, try using bullet points or a numbered list. You can also include related documents and links.

The more specific you are, the less likely it is that something will be left out or done incorrectly. This ensures that there is no ambiguity about the task and that everyone is on the same page.

Breaking the task down.

Be sure to break down the task into smaller, manageable pieces if it is a complex task. This will make it easier for the person you are delegating to and help ensure that all of the steps are completed.

It’s important to remember that you’re delegating the task, not the responsibility. So, if something goes wrong, you’ll still be held accountable.

Find a balance.

Don’t spend hours creating a detailed plan for something that could be done in a few minutes. The goal is to save time, not create more work for yourself. Try to have a balance between being too specific and not providing enough information.

Assign a deadline for the task(s) to be completed.

For delegation to be effective, it’s important to assign a deadline for the task to be completed. This will ensure that the job gets done on time and that you’re not left waiting indefinitely.

If the person you’ve delegated the task to knows that they need to have it done by a certain time, they’ll be more likely to stay on top of it and get it done efficiently. Plus, if they know they have a deadline, they may be more likely to come to you with questions or concerns sooner rather than later. 

When possible, try to align the deadline with an existing milestone or due date. For example, if you’re delegating a task related to a project with an already established timeline, use that as the deadline.

You don’t want to be too rigid and set an unrealistic date, but you also don’t want to be too flexible and give the person an open-ended timeline.

Check in with the person assigned to do the task regularly to ensure they are on track.

Check in with the person assigned to do the task regularly to ensure they are on track

It’s important to regularly check in with the person assigned to do the task. This will help ensure that they are on track and making progress. It also allows you to offer assistance if needed and answer any questions they may have.

Establish a regular check-in schedule, such as once a week or every other day. And, be sure to stick to it.

If the deadline is looming and you haven’t heard from the person, don’t hesitate to reach out sooner. It’s better to check in too often than not enough. You may need to adjust the check-in schedule as the task progresses to ensure that it’s still relevant and helpful.

Hold them accountable in case they don’t meet the deadline or if the task isn’t completed satisfactorily.

If the person you delegated the task to doesn’t meet the deadline or if the job isn’t completed satisfactorily, it’s important to hold them accountable.

This will show that you’re serious about delegation and that you expect the task to be done correctly and on time.

The final responsibility still lies with you, so if the task isn’t completed to your standards, you’ll need to take care of it yourself. This is why choosing someone you trust is important to get the job done right.

Delegate tasks within the skill set of the person you’re assigning them to.

To delegate effectively, you need to consider the skills and experience of the person you assign the task to.

This will help ensure that the task is completed properly and on time. It will also help to build trust and respect between you and the team member. 

There’s no point in asking someone to do something they’re incapable of doing; not only will they be unable to complete the task successfully, but they’ll also likely become frustrated and resentful.

If you’re unsure if the person you’re delegating to is up for the task, ask them. They may surprise you and be more than willing to take on something outside their comfort zone.

Don’t micromanage – trust that they will do the task to the best of their abilities.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when delegating is micromanaging. If you’re constantly looking over the person’s shoulder, they’ll never be able to get the job done properly.

It’s important to trust that they will do the task to the best of their abilities. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t offer assistance or answer questions when needed. But, it does mean that you shouldn’t try to control every aspect of the task.

Micromanaging will only lead to frustration and resentment on both your part and the part of the person you’re delegating to.

Give feedback – both positive and constructive – after the task is completed.

Once the task is completed, it’s important to give feedback. This will help the person learn from their experience and improve for future assignments.

Be sure to give both positive and constructive feedback. For example, if they did a good job, let them know. But, if there are areas where they could improve, be specific about what those are.

Giving feedback is a crucial part of the delegation process and will help to ensure that tasks are completed more effectively in the future.

How to Delegate Effectively with Colin Boyd

Be flexible – things may not always go according to plan, so be willing to adjust as needed.

Things rarely go according to plan. It’s important to be flexible when delegating tasks. If the person you’re delegating to runs into a problem or can’t complete the task on time, be willing to adjust as needed.

This may mean changing the deadline or offering more assistance. It could also mean reassigning the task to someone else.

The most important thing is to be flexible and willing to adjust as needed. This will help to ensure that the task is completed successfully and that everyone involved is happy with the outcome.

Learn from your mistakes and improve your delegation skills.

Delegation is a skill that takes time and practice to perfect. If you make a mistake, learn from it and try to do better next time.

Over time, you’ll get better at delegating tasks and will be able to do so more effectively. This will help to improve your productivity and efficiency and ultimately make your life a lot easier.

So, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Just learn from them and keep practicing. Soon, you’ll be a master of delegation!


Delegating tasks is a crucial part of being a successful leader. It’s important to choose the right person for the job and to trust that they will do it to the best of their abilities.

It’s also important to be flexible and willing to adjust as needed. Things rarely go according to plan, so you must be prepared for that.

Finally, learn from your mistakes and keep practicing. The more you delegate, the better you’ll get at it. Soon, delegation will become second nature!

What do you think is the most important aspect of delegation? Let us know in the comments below!


  • Gabrielle J. Smith is a Human Resources professional, writer, blogger, and mother of three. One of her hobbies is educating herself (and others) about job hunting and resume writing. She has helped many people through her career and continues to share knowledge with the masses in order to help them gain meaningful employment. One of Gabrielle’s favorite subjects is what she has coined “resume tricks,” and she says there are many of them. She has been blogging for the last four years, and her advice has been featured on many important sites in order to help job seekers in their searches. Gabrielle’s advice is always sound and to the point, and she shows no sign of slowing down.

Leave a Comment