The Unspoken Difficulties of Delegating (and Why It’s Important)

I’m working with a client who knew from the beginning of our engagement that delegating was a huge issue for them. It was an issue not only because it was blocking them from managing their time better but also because it was uncomfortable for them to admit that they had underlying trust issues.

This is very normal. Beneath an inability to delegate effectively are often psychological issues. It’s fascinating as to just how loaded a subject it is. Because on the surface, it makes sense to delegate, right? You free yourself to focus your time and efforts on areas that are your zone of brilliance, you help others improve their own skills and teams feel stronger as a result. But putting delegating into practice triggers a lot of deep-seated issues for many people. 

Some of the most common issues are feeling guilty asking for help, worrying that we’ll expose that we’re expendable, perfectionism tendencies, distrusting others, and feeling too busy and overwhelmed to delegate properly. For my client, it wasn’t actually about not trusting their staff. They acknowledged that they’d done very well in employing great people who were capable and good at their jobs. My client’s trust issues lay in how much more experience they had compared to their staff.

When it came to unpacking this deep-seated issue, we uncovered many gems. That session alone uncovered training opportunities and ideas for company checklists and templates that, when complete, will revolutionise the business. Amazing stuff! 

As my client considered how to project manage these new tasks, we ran through four questions which can be applied at the outset of any delegating decision. Considering your team’s talents, skills and current workload:

  1. Who is good at this?
  2. Who might enjoy (some or all) of this?
  3. Who might want to learn about this (or benefit from learning about it)?
  4. Who is available?

These questions work just as well for someone who works solo or from a life admin/home point of view too. Your teams just look a bit different than direct staff (think family, friends, outsourcing options).

In fact, the client I mentioned above came to the conclusion that their staff may have enough on their plates. So hiring someone else may be a good solution for the business. Don’t limit yourself. Keep your delegation options open.

If this post has struck a chord and you know that delegating is a huge issue for you. Reach out! I’d love to have a chat. Feel free to book in for a free 30 minute call with me.

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