One of the first leadership and management lessons most of us learn is how to delegate – and battle that old “control” instinct. Why is it first? Because leaders don’t scale unless they delegate well and you have to scale if you’re going to have a big impact. Andria has some great advice for managing the control demons in today’s post. – InPower Editors
One of the great opportunities of leadership is the delegation of tasks to others, which not only frees up your time to be more strategic but also develops those employees to whom you’ve delegated. Although it is a great opportunity for all leaders, I think it can be especially challenging for women. Truth be told, we like to be in control… Both in and outside of our leadership roles, we like to get things done and done our way. However, as we grow in leadership positions and take on more and more responsibility, we must let go of this control and learn how to delegate, not only for our success but also for the growth and success of those who work for us.
One of the great opportunities of leadership is the delegation of tasks to others, which not only frees up your time to be more strategic but also develops those employees to whom you’ve delegated.
Delegating means letting go of a fair amount of, if not all of, the control associated with the way tasks are completed. I find this to be a struggle for many of the leaders I coach as well as for me! As the owner of my business, I find that letting go of tasks and delegating to others can be quite a challenge at times. What if they don’t do it right? What if they don’t get it done on time? What if they upset the clients? If I let them, these “what if’s” can go on forever. I have tortured myself through many of them and uncovered three key ways to ease these concerns about delegating. These not only work well for me but for many other leaders too.
- You want a high degree of confidence in the people you delegate to; therefore, be diligent in the selection of those who work for and with you.
- You want a consistent number of updates and status checks can help ease some concern about delegated tasks. Personally, I need more updates and status checks early in the relationship. Once I get to know the individuals and their work ethic, and our relationship develops, the amount of check-ins decrease. You may find you always want the same amount of status updates regardless of how mature the relationship is; the key is to implement what works for you to increase your comfort level with delegating.
- It helps to alter “what if” comments from negative to positive. So, instead of thinking, “what if they don’t do it right?” think, “what if they do it better than I ever could?” Or, “what if this works out better than I thought?” That mindset shift helps you expect the best as opposed to expecting things to go wrong. Does this mean things never go wrong? Of course not, but it sets up an environment that is more expectant of success than if you kept thinking of all the possible ways things could go wrong.
The main idea is to focus on ways you can be comfortable delegating to those on your team. Develop the necessary relationships with team members so your degree of comfort is constantly increasing; therefore enabling the amount of delegation and “letting go of control” to increase. And, while you are relinquishing your control to others, you’re also shifting you mindset to look for and anticipate the best results.
Although this is not always easy for leaders, learning how to delegate and let go of control is necessary and highly beneficial for all. It not only enables you, as a leader, to focus on more strategic issues but it motivates the workforce to take on more responsibility and fosters more employee development.
What else do you do (or could you do) to foster more delegation on your team?
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