Delegation and The 4-Stage Apprenticeship Model

Delegation and The 4-Stage Apprenticeship Model

Once a business owner/manager/etc has decided that certain tasks and responsibilities should be delegated to others within the organization, quite often the next step is to learn how to effectively transition the new person into the role of handling those tasks. One very effective way to make the transition is to use the “4-stage apprenticeship model” outlined below.

 

                                                                                       Stage 1            Stage 2           Stage 3           Stage 4

                                             “Master”                      Do the task       Do the task     Help with task     Observe

                                           “Apprentice”                  Observe        Help with task     Do the task     Do the task

 

In stage 1, the Master performs the task or executes the action while the apprentice observes. The observation by the apprentice should include taking notes, asking questions, and using critical thinking skills to understand why a task or job is done in a certain way. There should be dialogue between Master and Apprentice throughout the stages.

In stage 2, the Master still performs the task or executes the action, but this time the apprentice takes a more active role in helping, or doing some of the minor parts of the task if the task can be broken up in such a way as to allow this. Again, there should be note taking, questions, and critical thinking during this stage.

In stage 3, the Apprentice takes on the lead role of performing the task or executing the action while the Master becomes the less dominant participant and acts in a support role. In this stage the Master might offer assistance and perform some of the minor parts of the task if possible. In this stage, however, the questioning is reversed and the Master is asking the Apprentice to explain why the task is important, why it is done in this way instead of some other way, and so on in order to gauge the apprentice’s level of understanding of the task or action.

In stage 4, the Apprentice performs the task or executes the action while the Master observes. The observation by the master may include taking notes and asking final clarifying questions to ensure that the apprentice has internalized the task and taken ownership of it. At this point the final and permanent assignment can be made from Master to Apprentice of this task.

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