BNET's Overview of Delegating UpwardEvery week or so, the editorial crew at BNET.com post one or more overview articles on management topics that serve as basic and commonsensical summaries of best practice.
The October 2007 article on "Delegating Upward" is exemplary. In the introduction, the article notes typical circumstances under which delegating upward is advisable:
when there is a need for capital or human resources, when expert knowledge is required, or when there are political barriers to be overcome. As an employee, you may also find that on some occasions you need an extra boost of authority to resolve a situation that has run aground. Sometimes, you will simply have too much to do and need some assistance.The article then offers capsule advice for handling a few typical scenarios, e.g., too much to do, or pushback from the boss.
The final two sections of the article explain do's and don'ts.
- Get to know what drives your boss.
- Use friendly persuasion in a six-step process:
- Consider your supervisor's motivation.
- Create the right atmosphere.
- Speak clearly and listen carefully.
- Suggest what's in it for them.
- Make an appointment to meet again.
- Thank them for their efforts.
- Remain clear and confident.
- Lose your cool.
- Assume that you and your boss have the same agenda.
- Expect to fail all too likely to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.