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Delegate with Confidence: Series Summary – 6 Big Tips to Make DR GRAC Work for You!


How to Delegate with Confidence Series (Part 7 of 7)

We’ve shared the DR GRAC delegation framework so that you can delegate with confidence.  You know that in order to grow and scale your role or your business, you must learn to delegate.  Using DR GRAC, you’ve taken an example task and identified the Desired Results (DR), the Guidelines (G), the Resources (R), the Accountability process (A), and the Consequences (C).  Each component in the framework represents a vital aspect of proper delegation.

When Stephen Covey initially outlined DR GRAC in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he intended for it to be both solid and practical to use.  Employed all over the world, the successful methodology helps slow down and clarify delegating so that Win-Win situations are established as the work gets done.

In this final installment of our How to Delegate with Confidence Series, we’ll share 6 Big Tips that can help you employ the DR GRAC most effectively.  There are many ways to create frustration for yourself and others with poor delegation practices.  Even using a proven framework doesn’t guarantee success if it’s not executed properly.  As you gain experience using DR GRAC, you have the opportunity to refine how you use each aspect of the framework so that it can be a practical tool supported by a solid system that sets the stage for your Team to take proper ownership of delegated tasks as you demonstrate your trust in your Team.

DR GRAC – 6 Big Tips to Maximize Your Delegation Effectiveness

1. Resist Gofer Delegation – DR GRAC is Stewardship Delegation

When delegating, especially for the first time, it’s tempting to resort to gofer delegation in which you provide detailed instructions for everything you want them to do.  It earned its name because it sounds like “Go for this, go for that.” and it limits your effectiveness.  You want to be very detailed in describing the Desired Results for the delegation, but without providing detailed methods to achieve them.  If you dictate all the methods, you haven’t delegated ownership of the results.

On the other hand, stewardship delegation, the principle upon which DR GRAC is based, means delegating the ownership of both the task and the Desired Results.  When you allow for flexibility in the methods to perform the task, the person receiving the delegation has the freedom to achieve the results in whatever way he or she thinks is best.  That freedom of method allows them to become true “stewards” of the task as the Desired Results have been entrusted to their care.

2. Even a Quick Run Through of DR GRAC is Better than Delegating on the Fly!

In our Series, we’ve outlined a very detailed process based on the DR GRAC Delegation Framework that you can use to delegate especially complicated and important tasks.  Taking that time to thoroughly delegate will yield a significant improvement in the quality of your delegation.  However, doing so can sometimes feel like overkill, and the thought of spending 20-30 minutes documenting DR GRAC in its full detail may not feel justified.  In those cases, it still can be extremely helpful to take an abbreviated run-through of the DR GRAC framework and just hit the high points.  If you regularly work with someone who has a working understanding of the typical Guidelines and Resources involved with your typical tasks, it may be enough to simply talk through the Desired Results and the Accountability practice that you’re intending to use.  With the two most critical aspects of the delegation highlighted, the intended outcome will be very clear and you’ll both know how it will be determined that the task is going well.  Stopping to run through an abbreviated DR GRAC with the person you are delegating to will help ensure that anything unclear can be discussed before they start trying to do the task.  You’ll also have a clear path to the next check-in on the task, so you won’t have to worry about the delegation or the task until that time is reached.

DR GRAC Example

To fill out your own abbreviated DR GRAC pdf, download this free template.

3. A DR GRAC Delegation is an Opportunity to Have Your Team Feel Trusted

A huge aspect of the process of proper delegation is the way your Team feels when they’ve got clear outcomes to create and the freedom to figure out the best way to achieve those results.  If you’ve gone through the elements of DR GRAC thoroughly, you can turn your back on the task and trust that the Accountability practice will allow you to keep tabs at appropriate intervals.  It will be difficult at first, but you need to detach from the task so you can do your other work.  Your Team won’t be worried about you looking over their shoulder because of the Accountability practice you’ve set up together, so they can dig in on their own.  They will feel your trust and it will put an added spring in their step as they accomplish an important task!

4. Use Delegation as a Time to Improve Your Processes

Using the DR GRAC process well demands that you think through the task in a detailed manner.  In many instances, it will be the most thorough evaluation of the task that you’ve ever done!  Tasks typically arise initially out of necessity and evolve over time.  By the time you need to delegate them to someone else, the task has rarely been re-evaluated since its origination.  While you’re taking the time to communicate the elements of the DR GRAC, you naturally can consider additional alternatives for the task.  You’ll also be introducing someone new to the task, so they’ll have a fresh set of eyes to help generate new ideas, too.  There are always alternatives and if you see a delegation as an opportunity for improvement, the odds are high that good things will happen.

5. The Accountability Practice is Crucial – “How Will We Know How Well It’s Going?”

One of the biggest ways to prevent falling into a gofer delegation is to install a solid Accountability practice as part of your DR GRAC process.  Thoughtfully considering “How will we know how well it’s going?” can help you set up the delegation so you can turn your back on the task until the next Accountability check-in.  The clearer you establish expectations for the check-in, the more likely it will be that the task is on track for that review.  If you’re going to start worrying about the task, then you’ll want to get concise check-ins along the way.  You just have to make sure that you don’t resort to controlling every action or the method being used because that defeats a big part of the purpose of delegating in the first place.  Put a solid plan together and then execute it with your Team, always knowing when the next check-in will be.  That way, you won’t have to worry.

6. The Accountability Practice is Just That… Practice!

Since it’s such an important part of DR GRAC, you’ll need to figure out the best ways to use your Accountability practices with your Team.  Keep in mind that you’ll rarely get it perfect the first time around.  You’ll try different things with different tasks and different people and over time you’ll discover what works best for you in a variety of circumstances.  Be patient with yourself and with DR GRAC!  It’s important that you delegate well, so you’ll need to remember that the first few times won’t be easy.  With time and effort, however, your Accountability practices will improve and you’ll be able to settle into them more quickly for related types of tasks as you go.  You’ll get to a point where you know how much time you’ll need between check-ins so that you can feel comfortable and know the task is still in good hands.  It takes time and repetition to set up solid Accountability practices in your delegation.

Delegating with Confidence Series – Final Thoughts

As a Leader, it can be frustrating to attempt to delegate because it takes longer than just doing it yourself.  Too often in the past, you’ve gotten sucked back into doing the task anyway.

Proper delegation takes time and effort.  It’s not an accident.  It requires patience and the understanding that your long-term opportunities to scale your business and your life are better if you delegate effectively.  Trying to do everything yourself is not an effective way to lead your Team.  Without a consistent framework like DR GRAC to effectively delegate tasks, your results will be mixed, and frustration will be high for both you and your Team.  Failing to delegate at all can leave you stressed out and only able to work IN your business and not ON your business.

It’s easy to believe you’re the only person that can do what you do, but believing that can make you feel like you’re carrying the whole world on your shoulders. Trying to do it all limits your growth and can negatively impact your ability to be present for your Team and even your family. 

Using the DR GRAC Delegation Framework allows you and your Team to get dramatically more done every day.  You won’t have to do everything by yourself, and you won’t live in constant worry that your Team will mess everything up.  The clarity you develop through delegation and the Accountability Plan will empower your Team to find creative solutions to problems within clearly defined guidelines.  You will stay aware of results through the planned accountability checks.  You will begin to have more time for higher-level work, growing your business, and accomplishing more than you could ever have accomplished by yourself.

Try selecting something that you can delegate today and put DR GRAC to the test.  You can download our worksheet to help you in the process.  We certainly wish you well as you use delegation to free up time in your day while empowering your Team!