We all know the feeling where we’re drowning in the amount of work we have. We’re not sure where to start, what to do first or leave for later because everything seems to be urgent and important. We wish we could clone ourselves but know that that’s not possible. Could someone else assist? Sure thing, but we would first need to explain it to them and that is time consuming. Also, they won’t do it up to our standards which means we will have to do it all over. In the end it’s all up to me! Sound like a familiar conversation you have with yourself?
Why many people struggle to delegate a leadership skill
Delegating is a leadership skill many people battle with. We either have some assumptions on the subject or have endured negative past experiences that makes us cautious. Often we believe that we’re the only ones to do the job perfectly and that nobody is able to meet our standards. It may be so and it may not be, but either way you are holding yourself back from growing your skills and even hindering your career advancement. Why do I say that? Because when we aim for perfection we get into such an intense level of detail that others don’t necessarily value or notice. We lose valuable time crafting the perfect document, plan, presentation or speech which slows us down. Think of delegating as the balance between giving enough space to demonstrate your ability.
The second aspect we get stuck on is time. It will take too long for us to explain what needs to be done and in that time we could actually do it ourselves. This might be true in the initial stages because it will take more time, especially if it’s the very first time a person is performing the task. If we think about it, we most likely didn’t get through the activity right the first time either. But with repetitive doing and making mistakes we learnt to master the task. We need to remember this and provide leadership training, mentoring and support to the person that will speed up the mastery process and give us time for other new challenges.
Not every task can be delegated, especially if they require your expert skills and knowledge. Sometimes we can delegate a portion of a task instead of the entire task. Commonly we can delegate tasks that are routine and of an administrative nature. The regularity of the task allows a person to master it quickly.
Let’s hypothesise for a moment. Imagine you’re forced to take your annual leave all in one month without interruptions. You’re not able to connect via email or any mobile devices to the office. You would have to plan all your tasks and determine based on skill, knowledge, ability and attitude which of your colleagues would do each task. Some work will be allocated to peers, some to your senior, and some maybe to a junior employee. It may even be delegated to someone outside of your department, but you would have to find a responsible person to take over the task while you’re away. Now try the same concept with delegating and include an extra twist where you mark which work you won’t take back.
Try it out now and start growing yourself and others in the process. Contact us for more information about leadership skills development today.