Why do we find it difficult to delegate?
Most of us in business wish we had more time. Even though we know that one of the best ways to free up time is to delegate tasks to other people we struggle to do this. Here’s why (and what you should do about it).
|Why we struggle to delegate||What to do about it|
|Engrained bad habits – I’ve always done this so why change?||Focus on the opportunity cost of you doing the task – what are you neglecting as a result? It’s bound to be more important even if it’s just giving you more time for yourself.|
|No time – it takes me more time to delegate the task than do it myself.||Focus on the long-term benefits rather than looking for short term wins. You will never get out of crisis mode unless you delegate more.|
|Loss of control – I simply find it hard to let go.||Start by delegating smaller and easier tasks and celebrate the success you achieve. Review your delegation process on completion of each delegated project. Ask for feedback as to how you could improve the delegation process.|
|Fear – of client backlash, loss of revenue, mistakes, write-offs||Consider how your current way of working is costing you time that you could spend on other more important activities and money that you could be making otherwise. What is the worst thing that could happen by delegating? It is highly likely not to be as bad as what is happening to you right now without delegating.|
|Below the line thinking – Team members do not listen or don’t have the skills.||Think about how you learned. Give your team the support they need to grow, or they will find that support elsewhere.|
|Lack of role clarity – I don’t know if I have the authority.||Sort out your organisation structure so everyone knows who to report to (and make sure that all decisions aren’t filtered through you).|
- Identify the tasks you are doing that are taking up the most of your time right now
- Identify up to 3 of these that you can delegate over the next 3 months
- Determine who is the best person to delegate each task to
- Meet with that person and determine your plan to delegate – ask them for feedback and what support they need
- Review your progress at the end of 3 months, adjust the process as necessary and then start at number 1 again
At the end of the day it’s all about mind-set – if you think you can delegate you will. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first and start believing you can, and, you must delegate.
The function of leadership is to produce more leaders,
not more followers – Ralph Nader