top of page

“Walk Them to The Edge Of The Forest…Delegation Style”

Some supervisors and managers apply this style every day they perform their roles. (No, I did not capitalize the job titles).

Let’s take a look at Delegating for example.

The logic behind “delegating” is that Supervisors can “move things off of their “overfull plates” by assigning tasks or duties they might currently be doing, to subordinate members of their staffs. (Sort of spreading the workload.) Some supervisors take to this logic openly and with positive energy in their attempts. But there are other supervisors who grudgingly and half-heartedly attempt the process. For this group, their efforts resulting in self-fulfilling prophecies of failed attempts.

If you talk to the “half-hearted” effort group you will hear excuses like: 1) It takes too much time, or 2) I can do it faster myself or 3) When they mess things up I’ll have to do it myself later anyway. (I’ll let you add any 4 or 5.) This supervisor group also tends to be identifiable by their preference for the behavior of “pointing people toward things to be done” with little explanation or education. So, how many times do you want to live the consequences of doing-it-yourself?

By contrast, there is an “Enlighted” Supervisory style, (do you notice the Capital S?) one that actually recognizes the benefits to themself and to the individual Staff person. This Supervisor, “shows, explains and monitors the tasks or duties to be delegated. They correct in-the-moment and positively reinforce in-the-moment. This furthers trust between Supervisor and Staff. This behavior is a sign of respect toward the Staff person. And, it furthers the feeling belonging to something, because they are recognized for having worth.

I’ll leave you with a mental image if I might. 1) Picture the supervisor who takes his or her Staff to the edge of a forest and says the other edge of the forest is on the other side. “Go find it.” OR 2) Picture the supervisor who Leads his or her Staff to the edge of the forest and begins to Lead/walk them through the forest, correcting when off the track and positively acknowledging right choses and actions along the way. How far into the forest the Supervisor goes is based on the Staff person’s progress and right choices…the first time.

Did you follow the “little S” and “Capital S” transitions? How about when transitioning into Leading? IKR

Go ahead. Try It. I dare you.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page