What’s Your Delegation Style? 4 Common Drivers

Each of us has unique personality traits that can make delegation easier or harder. Knowing yourself makes it easier to share your strengths while managing your downsides. Here are four common drivers that can affect your delegation approach, with a coaching tip for each. Where do you fit?

1 Authoritative Alex – Tells You What to Do

Your Delegation Strength: It’s easy for you to divvy up responsibilities and be direct with people about your expectations.
Your Delegation Downside: You may overstep your bounds sometimes, and may delegate without first earning buy-in.

Coaching Tip: Check your assumptions related to whom you’re delegating; explain the why and appeal to them; don’t just expect automatic obedience.

2 Autonomous Abby – Likes Doing Her Own Thing

Your Delegation Strength: Empowering others and giving them the freedom to do it their own way comes naturally. You won’t step in and micromanage.
Your Delegation Downside: You may not set people up for success when delegating.

Coaching Tip: Use active listening techniques and check for understanding. Ensure necessary resources exist for your “delegatees” and set regular check-in schedules.

3 Collaborative Chris – Builds a Team for Everything

Your Delegation Strength: It’s easy for you to share information, responsibilities, and power.
Your Delegation Downside: You may over-delegate/over-involve others, which could slow down execution.

Coaching Tip: Become familiar with your peoples’ skillsets. Whenever possible, delegate as much of one complete task/responsibility to one primary owner.

4 Excellent Ellie – Enforces High Standards

Your Delegation Strength: You clearly and explicitly communicate your expectations to others.
Your Delegation Downside: It can be a struggle for you to let go. Sometimes your expectations are unrealistic.

Coaching Tip: Define your “ideal,” “acceptable,” and “unacceptable” standards. Check whether those standards are realistic with peers or other leaders given the specific situations.


Whatever your own style, delegate tasks with purpose and in line with your people’s development plans. Don’t just assign responsibilities based on what you know people can do, but provide them with opportunities to develop skills outside their comfort zones.

We developed our DRiV personality assessment to help understand the unique drivers that make each of us “tick” in our workplaces – and our lives. Click here for more information about leveraging the power of the DRiV for yourself, your organization, or your clients.