Delegating

  • Delegate broad responsibilities and leave members to handle the details.
  • Expect group members to find and correct their own errors.
  • Provide feedback on overall performance.
  • Allow risk taking and innovation.

Individual members, and the group as a whole, can be expected to move up and down the scale of development in response to perceived successes or failures along the way. Generally, competence and confidence should grow with experience but if a challenge proves too great and some failure occurs, or is thought to have occurred, the confidence will suffer and competence may diminish. Careful leadership should minimise the risk of such setbacks occurring and should work quickly to restore confidence and commitment.

Table 48.1 Typical needs of group members at each of the four levels of development (D1-D4)
LevelCharacteristicsNeedsExemplar
D1Low competence
High commitment
Recognition and acceptance of enthusiasm. Clear goals. Rules. Timelines. Information about the task. Frequent feedbackAn enthusiastic beginner
D2Some competence
Low commitment
Clear goals. Praise for progress. Explanations. Encouragement. Chance to discuss concerns. Reassurance. Involvement in decision making.A disillusioned learner
D3 Moderate competence
Some commitment
Support and encouragement to develop skills. Praise and recognition for improving performance. An approachable mentor or coach. Opportunities to express concerns.A capable, but unsure performer
D4High competence
High commitment
Variety and challenge. Trust. Autonomy and authority. Leader who is more a colleague.A self-reliant achiever