We think we understand delegation and its importance, but only a few know it and do it well because of its barriers.
There are times when managers are supposed to take the initiative with their teams, but they cannot grab the opportunity or miss the correct targets. Why does it happen? It can be because of several reasons, such as:
- Lack of skills in the team
- Team members, including managers, are overloaded with work
- Lack of willingness to do something new
- Improper communication
- Micromanagement which doesn’t allow innovation and creativity
Or any other undesirable reason. What is the cause of failure here? It’s a lack of delegation skills. How?
Delegation isn’t only about assigning a part of the more significant task to someone to get it done quickly (which is how generally people understand delegation). It is much more. When done correctly, it helps everyone to move on to higher things.
When you delegate work (delegator), it gives you a chance to focus on more relevant tasks for your growth. In parallel, when you accept a delegated task (delegatee), it provides you an opportunity to work on something beyond your defined role.
What makes delegation difficult?
We all know how strong delegation is for both management and leadership skills. Then, why do people find it challenging to master, even the experienced ones? The issues range from the inability to delegate effectively to an inflexible attitude.
Let’s look at seven delegation barriers that hamper your growth and kill your teamwork and what you can do to avoid them:
#1. Unable to trust if the other person can do the work as expected
You may help them with the proper instructions, and they will do it. Providing instructions will take some of your time, but it is worth investing. Eventually, a sense of understanding will automatically develop between you and the other person. It will also help you understand your team members’ strengths and skillset.
#2. I can do this in a better way – perfectionist tendencies, and impatience
Your method might be the best, but that doesn’t mean the other person’s technique is entirely wrong. If 2+2=4 is correct, then 3+1=4 is also correct. Shift your perfectionism towards the end outcome instead of the process, ensuring a quality result.
#3. It won’t take much of my time to do it by myself
Even if it takes you a few minutes only, the real question should be, do you need to do it? It is best to spend your efforts fulfilling the bigger picture.
#4. I don’t have time to explain
If you don’t block some time on your calendar for delegating tasks, you will never be able to free yourself from the repetitive work and look at the growth tasks. Change your perspective and think about achieving long-term goals.
#5. Not knowing what to delegate or how to delegate – stuck in a micromanagement loop
Effective delegation requires some time and planning from your end. Give your team a chance to take ownership of the tasks.
- Set clear expectations
- Provide detailed instructions as needed
- Review work progress on a timely basis
- Share feedback for improvement
#6. Fear of losing control
When you delegate, you become the supervisor for that task. So, there is no loss of control; it’s just a change in responsibility. You still are accountable for the work. Build strong communication and keep reviewing the work progress.
#7. Worried about the consequences of failure
Part of effective delegation is to pick the right person for the task. Assess your team’s abilities, weaknesses, expertise, and willingness to do something different before delegating. Assure them of your support and assistance when needed, and you’ll see all the success. This is how you groom your successor.
A high-performing team is always more productive and beneficial for any organization than a high-performing individual.
Delegation promotes individual growth, provides opportunities to work beyond defined roles & responsibilities, helps to balance workload, and pushes for innovation and creativity.