A Supervisor says to one of the team members: “Michael. I’m pretty busy lately and I want to delegate the presentation I have at the end of the month to you. I know you’re capable of doing it.”

How does that really sound to the team member? And what could their reaction be?:

  1. “You’re up to your eyes and you want me to do some of your extra work.”
  2. “Let’s see. Why don’t you just say it clearly? You’re not delegating anything. You’re just tasking me with something you don’t want to do.”
  3. “Don’t flatter me.”

The sentence quoted is real. It’s what a participant in a course told me his boss had said to him.

What happens with delegation is what happens with many things: a mess of definitions and purposes. Outlook has a ‘delegate’ function. Is it ‘delegate’ or simply ‘task someone with something’?

Doesn’t delegate mean to have the intention to help the person in your team grow? True, by doing you so you free time for other things …. And as words are reflections of thoughts, then what is your real intention when you delegate?


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