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The art, task of delegationcomment (0)

August 5, 2010

By Jean Roberson

Being in charge can be exhausting. Like you, I have had those times when someone asked me to be in charge of something and I cringed inside. I couldn’t say no but I didn’t really have the energy to take on something new, especially if it involved other people such as a committee or team.

One of the reasons it is so exhausting for me is because I do not do a good job of letting go. This is true for a lot of us. Out of a sense of responsibility for ensuring the task is done well, we tend to control the process and the people involved.

This is even true for us at home. We take responsibility for the management of the home and do much of it ourselves. At times, this can be good but there are occasions when it is best to let go and trust others. In other words, there are times when it is best to delegate. 

Unfortunately this is easier said than done. When is it appropriate to delegate? When do I hand a task off to someone on my team? What task do I delegate? 

I think back to when my son started doing chores around the house. His first responsibility was to clean his room. The next year, we added making his bed. Now that he is older, he also feeds the dogs and washes the car. I knew he was ready to take on these tasks when the following were true: He was motivated to help by a possible increase in his allowance and was capable of doing the tasks.

These are the two basic criteria. First the person needs to be committed to the task. Second the person needs to be capable of doing it. 

The Great Commission is a perfect example of delegation. Christ’s followers were committed to telling of His death and resurrection. Plus they were capable of it, especially once the Holy Spirit came upon them. So the task was delegated to them, and it has been delegated to us.

Who in your life meets those two criteria? Is there a task that someone in your home, church or workplace is committed to achieving? Is he or she capable of it? Can you delegate it to that person, trusting him or her to complete it well? If we commit to doing this, then we might find we are not quite so exhausted.

A Takeaway Value …
You can delegate a task to someone else when that person is motivated to achieve it and has the ability to complete it well.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Jean Roberson, MSW, LCSW, is a ministry consultant for national Woman’s Missionary Union. She serves as team leader for the adult team and director of Christian Women’s Job Corps/Christian Men’s Job Corps and International Initiatives.

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