Delegation styles

The types of delegation must fit the people, their skills and levels of mutual confidence, the circumstances in which the group finds itself and the difficulty and importance of the task to be done. It is possible to identify at least four broad styles of delegation that are available to every leader:

  • Here is the situation, deal with it and tell me what you did (e.g. passing control of a first-aid emergency to someone with better qualifications and experience).
  • Here is the situation, tell me what you are going to do and do it unless I tell you otherwise (e.g. giving a party member a navigation task).
  • Here is the situation, tell me what you think is involved in dealing with it and I’ll decide what I want you to do (e.g. sending a party member to find a suitable route).
  • Here is the situation, and I shall tell you what to do.

Each of these delegation styles is appropriate to one of the situational leadership styles. Applying specific detail to these styles may be a useful springboard into the correct situational leadership style.