Hi there and welcome. It’s Kerstin Jatho here from 4Seeds Consulting, a transformational coach who shifts people from languishing to flourishing. In this video, I want to talk to you about delegation.

So many leaders tell me, “Oh, I wish I could delegate to someone,” and on further inspection or investigation of the topic, it’s not really that they don’t have somebody to delegate to, but it’s the past experience that they’ve had with delegation, which has been a disappointing experience. So, they don’t do it anymore. They hold onto it, and they become very hesitant at delegating.

So, perhaps think of delegating as a child who is cycling on a bicycle. In the beginning, they are on training wheels, and they will fall off and they wobble, and it carries on for a while. And as a parent/the leader, you go and keep on helping them. You give them a push and it carries on for months. And then somewhere along the line, you take those training wheels off and they can cycle by themselves. And as they grow up, they even get a bigger bicycle.

That’s actually how delegation works. And where we make the mistakes when it comes to delegation is that we don’t always match the person’s skills or competencies to the task.

You must remember, you have taken time to grow and develop these skills. You are a master at them, so you cannot expect the person you are delegating to, to be at exactly that level. They are still on that bicycle with training wheels. So, adjust your expectation and also look at their skills. So, those are two key things.

The second one is understand what the term “done” means. What does it actually mean when a task is done? So, there needs to be clear communication with the follower to explain, “this is what done means”. So, these are my expectations. This is how I want it completed, and this is the timeline I want it completed by.

And also, you need to build in buffer time. Don’t give somebody something to delegate and it’s you at zero hour. There will be times where you need to check in, go look at it, correct it. Remember, they’re still on that bicycle with those training wheels. They are not cycling yet freewheel.

So, it’s not picture-perfect. And delegation is about growing an individual and mentoring them and investing time in them. If you think back, how did you get where you got there? Others put time and invested time and energy in you. Hence that is how you got there. And it’s now your turn to reciprocate it. Hence delegation takes things a bit slower, but you are empowering your team to actually grow and develop which is one core leadership function that you are responsible for is to grow people.

Over to you for sharing your comments and experiences.

What does delegation mean to you?

About the Author: Kerstin Jatho

Kerstin is the senior transformational coach and team development facilitator for 4Seeds Consulting. She is also the author of Growing Butterfly Wings, a book on applying positive psychology principles during a lengthy recovery. Her passion is to develop people-centred organisations where people thrive and achieve their potential in the workplace. You can find Kerstin on LinkedIn, Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook.

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