I am a manager who is permanently based at my clients office, I have an administration support team based at my companies headquarters which mainly because I was not aware of their roles I have never used.

After listening to the cast on the ‘The Juggling Koan’ I decided to delegate more by asking the support team to issue a quote for me, about 15 minutes work.

Many daily emails later with no reply, being given a missed date following a telephone call which I had to initiate and then finally being told a week later ‘it wont be done today, it will be done ASAP’

My question is how do you delegate / manage off site support staff and should I approach the individuals line manger now or should I have done so earlier,

Any advice would be appreciated


itilimp's picture
Licensee Badge

I'm not sure if you set out the expectations with the support staff to begin with and were clear about the deadline for the quotation. If you haven't already, I highly recommend listening to and using the technique taught in [url=]'The Art of Delegation'[/url] which discusses when to, and when not to delegate, as well as outlining a 5 step approach on the actual act of delegation.

1. Analyse Job
2. Decide what to delegate
3. Select the right person
4. Plan the delegation
5. Make the delegation

gone2golf's picture

Thanks, I listened again to The Art of delegation this morning

I have no problem delegating face to face and have had great success thanks to the cast.

My problem here was the distance, can you properly delegate by phone or email only?

I gave a clear deadline in my original request


Mark's picture
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Sure, you can delegate over the phone. Everything's the same.

The difference, I would guess, is the strength of the relationship, both professional and personal. Role power and relationship to THEIR boss feed to the professional, and personal is whether you have ever spoken with them before.

If the first time you are talking to them is to delegate, I'm not surprised that they balked/failed/pushed back.

Go visit with them, or spend time getting to know them. Apologize for the bad start (yes, apologize), explain to them your needs, ask how you can work together, and be prepared to start investing in the relationship.

It sounds to me like someone gave you a resource and left you hung out to dry by not doing something more than just sending an email over to those to whom you - attempted to - delegate to.

But, no worries. Invest, explore, try again. You'll get there.

Positive feedback and thank you's are marvelous grease, too, by the way.