When delegating the complete decision to someone else (level 6 on the ladder of leadership) the temptation is to just say “You go make the decision” because we want to get the issue off our plate as soon as possible. It seems like this shows confidence in the other person’s ability to make the decision. We believe they have sufficient competence and clarity to make a decision that is adequate. The problem is that this may sound like abdication not delegation to the person hearing it. The wording is too terse and almost flippant. It does not explain the reason you think the person is the right person to make the decision.
Instead, here are 3 options:
1. Explain that they have the competence and clarity to make the decision. That sounds like “I have seen how you think and am confident that you understand what we are trying to achieve. Additionally, I know you have the technical skills for this decision. You are the right person to make this decision. Go ahead and let me know what you decide.”
2. Explain that they are closer to the information. We call this pushing the authority to information. That sounds like “You are closer to the problem than I am and have a much better context of what is going on. Therefore, you are really a better person to make decision than I am.”
3. Explain that since they will be doing the work, it’s better if they decide the work. That sounds like “This is your project and you and your team will have to build whatever we decide so I think you’ll be more committed if you make the decision for this, not me. ”There are good reasons for delegating decision making to another person. Make sure you explain the rationale when doing it.
Watch LN329 for the video nudge about this.
Leadership Nudge® 329 – Words for Level 6