If you’ve worked in a law firm long enough, you’ve probably been assigned work in a way that left you confused (if not annoyed). When it’s time to delegate your own work, it can be a mistake to default to the delegation style that you’ve become used to, assuming that it’s effective.
That assumption might be wrong if you’re working with new people, clients and/or matters. Try asking the following questions when you need to enlist help with a task. They involve people in taking responsibility for their work and they show respect for others’ expertise.
- What is the best or fairest way for me to delegate work to you?
- What might affect your ability to complete this task within the specified or expected time/budget/quality?
- What is the best way for everyone involved to communicate problems or progress?
- What additional and ongoing information do you need from me? What is the best way for me to share it with you?
Some lawyers ask everyone involved in a project to sign off on a communication protocol before work begins. This provides some quality assurance and promotes trust by reducing the likelihood of write-offs, missed deadlines, and miscommunication.