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What Makes You Shy Away from Delegating?

delegation Oct 20, 2021

Delegation is great in theory and putting it into play is even better >> and a whole lot harder than we expect! There are several reasons why we might shy away from delegating work to others, even when it is a great theory AND even if it will be better in the end. 

Some of the reasons why we don’t delegate might be in the realm of our awareness, while some might subtly lie beneath the surface. When faced with delegating, which of these might hold you back? Do you … 

  • Think it will take longer to explain the task than just getting it done on your own
  • Enjoy completing certain projects so you prefer not to reassign them
  • Feel guilty about adding more work onto another persons to-do list
  • Perceive that you don’t have anybody to delegate to
  • Lack confidence or trust in who to transfer the project or task to
  • Wish to remain indispensable to others by holding on to specific knowledge
  • Don’t want to be perceived as slacking off
  • See delegation as just “dumping” stuff on others
  • Believe you are the only one who can do the job right
  • Fear that the task will go all wrong and make more work in the end

In your own leadership experience, what has held you back from delegating? What would you add to this list? What hesitations keep you in the cycle of “too much to do and not enough time”?

Maybe it’s time to check those assumptions and reframe the delegation experience. The biggest assumption that I hear regularly is that delegation is about getting work done. If we believe the only goal of delegation is getting work done, then all of the above hesitations make sense. Instead, if we believe that delegation is about developing your team, as well as yourself, then the bigger picture comes into focus. In fact, these very hesitations become the reason why we MUST delegate so that we can develop others and ourselves and to best position us to achieve the goals of the team.

Next Steps

  1. What is your hesitation? Pick one from the list above or add one of your own.
  2. How will you reframe it? If you shift the belief from tasks to developing others, what do you notice differently about your hesitation?
  3. What can you do next to move toward delegation? Check out these blogs.
    1. Decide what task to KEEP and what to give away
    2. Engage a delegation conversation to find out what engages others
    3. Find the right person to delegate to >> who is skilled, trusted and has capacity
    4. Strategize how you will make this a development opportunity 
    5. Get CLEAR on how you will delegate the tasks
    6. Say “thank you” and avoid micromanaging

Getting stuck in the process of delegating. Let’s get you unstuck! Set up a FREE 30 minute strategy session and share your experience and let’s shape next steps together!

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