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How to delegate better?

Updated: Mar 19

How good are you at delegating and trusting it will be done by one of your team members? Navigating the complexities of effective delegation can be daunting, right? You grapple with concerns about relinquishing control, worry that the delegated tasks won't meet your standards, or simply struggle with letting go of certain responsibilities. 

The inability to delegate is something leaders at all levels struggle with. I know that even senior leaders can feel they can't rely on others to do the job. I call it controlling behavior and it has a huge costs. It means you are simply always on. However, mastering delegation isn't just about lowering your workload; it's also about trusting and empowering your team to thrive. 

"The really expert riders of horses let the horse know immediately who is in control, but then guide the horse with loose reins and seldom use the spurs.", as said wisely by Sandra Day O'Connor (first woman to serve as U.S. Supreme Court Justice). 

If you want to get it done right, you don't have to do it all yourself. Here are some practical tips to help you delegate better and unlock the full potential of your team:

  1. Embrace a Shift in Mindset: Instead of viewing delegation as a loss of control, recognize it as a strategic tool for leveraging the diverse skills and talents within your team. Understand that effective delegation is about distributing tasks strategically for optimal efficiency and productivity.

  2. Communicate Clearly: Articulate your expectations, desired outcomes, and any constraints upfront. Foster open dialogue, and provide necessary resources and support to set your team up for success.

  3. Trust Your Team: Have faith in your team's capabilities and resist the temptation to micromanage. Empower your team members to take ownership of their tasks and encourage them to find their own creative solutions.

  4. Let Go of Perfectionism: Understand that tasks may not always be completed exactly as you would do them, and that's okay too. Unless it's for example an important deliverable for the Executive Board. Focus on the results and growth opportunities for your team members rather than fixating on minor details.

  5. Provide Feedback: Offer constructive feedback when needed, but also celebrate successes and acknowledge efforts. Feedback is essential for continuous improvement and fostering a positive team dynamic.

More delegation may come with some short time failures and bumps on the way. In the long run, you will be building more competency in your team. So, embrace the challenge, trust your team, and watch as your own leadership flourishes. I bet you will free up time for more important things!

P.S. If you want to develop your leadership style and could use the support and accountability of a coach to that end, reach out for a no-obligation coaching consultation.


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