Delegation Fears — Causes and Solutions

“I either delegate something, I dump it, or I deal with it.”
- Daniel L. Doctoroff , CEO of Bloomberg L.P

Few thoughts we get when we think of delegation:
- No one can do it better than me
- If I delegate it to someone, I will first have to train them and I don’t have time for it. I would rather do it myself then.

Delegation, like many issues in business, is full of complexity. Certain business cultures create environments that make people believe it too risky to delegate.

People may not be able to do it like you do, but here are a few questions to be asked.

  1. Have you trained them, or given them enough exposure and time to catch up with you? Have you helped them gain the confidence needed to do the job?
  2. Is it necessary for the task to be done as well as you would do? Somebody might be doing it slowly and taking more time in correcting mistakes, but does the cost of doing it quickly and correctly yourself outweigh the benefit?
  3. And the final and the most vital question — is the quality of work done by other people inferior to what you would have done? Or is it simply different?

How to overcome Delegation Fears:

1. Trust ! Trust ! Trust !
By not delegating, you’re not only proving your distrust for your employees, you’re also wasting countless amounts of time and energy. You need to trust that your team members will complete the work they are responsible for, and your team members need to trust that you are giving them all of the information they need to do the work and that you will be available to back them up when necessary.

2. Document and Train
Document and train your sub-ordinate/employee to do the task. This way you are not only training a new person on a task but also making sure you have the right things in place for future references

3. Don’t MICRO-Manage
Thinking that you’re the most knowledgeable and efficient person to handle every single task is one of the most poisonous mindsets you can have in your professional life. Learn to loosen up and let others steer–you may be surprised what kind of innovation will flourish. If you always look for perfection, you might end up micro managing things.

4. Observe, Review and Coach
Your sub-ordinate might go off the track on the tasks you delegated him recently. Thus, you have to make sure you observe, review and coach. If done correctly, you might feel relieved when your plate is little less crowded.

5. Stop owning tasks
Make someone else a task owner, this way you are also delegating the sense of ownership to them which in turn will lead to responsibility. Stop babysitting your employees and trust that they will be able to accomplish a project in their own way. Limit your guidance to providing them with an achievable outcome.

Make sure you set your fear of delegating aside. Just because someone else is doing it, doesn’t mean that your job won’t be done just as well as you would do it. In fact, sometimes the job will be done better, because that person might be a specialist in that particular field.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this topic.

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