The Art Of Delegation – Psychology And Practice

There is an unsurprising correlation between executives who fail to delegate effectively, and those who say they never have enough time to focus on Business As Usual.

Delegation is something we all know is a good idea in theory, but in practice, the effort of explaining to someone else the minutiae of how to do something well, often feels like too much effort. In the short-term, it’s time-consuming, so we often carry on doing the task ourselves.

We’re missing a massive opportunity, not only to free ourselves up, so as we can think and act more strategically, but we miss the chance to grow and develop our team, to mentor, and to manage our own workload more effectively, avoiding burnout.

Delegation can feel like a particularly difficult balancing act when one is new to a senior role. It’s tempting to still micro-manage people who now do the job we once did, because “No-one will do it as well as I can.”

So, how do we get round this perennial leadership challenge?

There are two key areas we explore on this workshop:

  • Developing our willingness to let go, and allow others to take charge of a project. This is about our readiness to pull away from something, to trust someone else; and managing our own emotional resistance to change.
  • We also explore the letting go of something that we perhaps enjoy, and has a degree of kudos attached; how do we wave goodbye to that?
  • The practical handing over of a task or project, or even elements of it to someone else.
  • How do we set it up to succeed? What level of detail should we give? How do we practically pull away from something?
  • How do we increase others’ confidence to take on the new role, or added responsibility?
  • How should I set about designing a handover?
  • How do I monitor its progress, without looking like a jittery parent teaching their child to drive, hovering over the new project-owner?
  • How do I manage my ongoing anxiety now I’m no longer managing this project myself?  How do I avoid micro-managing the new project-owner?
  • How do I set up a protocol to make it easy for myself to delegate things confidently at short-notice, if a high-level crisis appears that I need to manage?
  • Participants will bring along a live project that is ripe for delegation, but they have been putting off. By the end of the workshop they will have clear steps towards delegating that project, have outline plans for others, and have understood and worked through their own resistance to change.