The Delegation Process: What Stops You?
If the delegator displays any one of the following feelings, then the delegation process may be badly affected:
- Guilt: the person delegated to might already be snowed under with work. You may feel guilty about giving them even more to do.
- Fear: fear is a powerful emotion. It's so powerful that we immediately shy away from its implications. 'I could lose the whole order, then I couldn't meet my loan repayment, then I'll be forced to cease trading and my partner will leave me, or my children will starve.' Consider your fears in context and if they are realistic, do the task yourself.
- Envy: this is one feeling that many people don't acknowledge. The key question here is how you will feel if the delegatee does a job better than you would have done yourself. However, if you are envious, consider the costs to the business of not delegating.
- Anxiety: this is about loss of control. The delegator may have trouble taking a back seat and be overly helpful in assisting the delegatee to complete the task. This can lead to the delgatee thinking, 'Why did (s)he bother asking me to do this?'
- Distrust: distrust is a chronic form of anxiety that is directed at other people. If you've been 'burned' in the past, then you may not trust people again. If you don't trust the people with whom you're working, you're unlikely to achieve much anyway. Trust is about the nature of the relationship between the people that you manage and yourself. Work at building that relationship.
All of the above are likely to have undesirable effects upon the delegator/delegatee relationship. Open, honest relationships that facilitate delegation can be built with good communication. It can also help to recognise and acknowledge the feelings you have about work relationships and delegating. Delegation is the core of managerial activity, but will only be effective within the context of a good relationship and if you feel happy doing it.