In my years of coaching and observing managers, one of the main obstacles I see the majority of them face is delegation of their work.
If I was to nominate one characteristic that would make the biggest difference to their chances of success (or stress) it would be the degree to which they are able to enlist the cooperation of others to get things done.
For most, the inability to delegate comes from one or both of these two main core beliefs:
1. Nobody else can do it as well as I can.
2. Asking for help is a sign of weakness.
Here are some signs that delegation is not working:
The lack of delegation poses the biggest threat to a business in times of stress so pre-emptive action should be taken to avoid it getting to that point. You can start by taking a closer look at those beliefs above:
1. Nobody else can do it as well as I can
Is that really true? If it is, I recommend you review your hiring and training practices. More than likely, you do have staff who can do the job – so give them the opportunity to show you how well they can do it.
Until the work you do can be done by robots, accept that all humans are fallible (even you). In most businesses, mistakes aren’t life-threatening and the sooner you learn to live with them the better!
Other people might do things differently from how you’d do them. Isn’t that exactly what a business needs in order to adapt, grow and thrive?
2. Asking for help is a sign of weakness
If this was really true, there would be no need for service industries to exist. We’d all do what needed doing for ourselves, from installing antennas to running our own court cases.
Clearly that’s ridiculous, so why be so selective in getting things done that need to be done? It doesn’t have to all be up to you!
Of course, you can choose to struggle along doing work to which you’re not really suited but how much better for you, your staff and the ‘Gross National Happiness’ if you’re mostly doing what you love and your team are given opportunities to excel at tasks they enjoy?
If I’ve achieved one thing with this article, I hope it’s that the next time you think “It’ll be quicker/easier if I just do it myself” you take time to challenge your beliefs and think about delegating instead. Will you?
"Wow, what can I say…. I found the Harrison reports to provide remarkable insights into your preferred behaviours and how you cope with stress. This is an invaluable tool for any business owner who wishes to maximise the use of their human capital, and I can highly recommend the use of Harrison Assessments reports with Susan's debrief. It simply works! 😊"
- Christopher Cachia, CEO and Principal, CCA Financial Planning
"Coaching with Ben gave me a great opportunity to reflect and explore strategies, tips, and tools to improve ways of working and to work through opportunities & challenges. I really valued the focused discussion on specific areas to support my growth and development. I highly recommend working with Ben."
- Manager, National NFP
"In a challenging role in a new organisation, coaching with Paula was the ideal time to reflect, problem-solve, brainstorm options and arm me with next steps in all areas - from staffing, internal politics and relationships to tackling key initiatives. The sessions were by video and face to face, both equally effective. Using video allowed for easy integration of sessions into my busy workdays without any hassle. Paula’s style of coaching quickly built trust so I felt safe being vulnerable, quickly getting to the heart of a number of issues and propelling me and my performance forward significantly!"
- Executive GM, People and Culture
"We used the Harrison Assessment tools followed by a debrief with Susan, for career development with staff, which then allowed us to work with Susan to create a customised 360 degree review process. Susan has a wealth of knowledge and is able to offer suggestions and solutions for our company. She is always ready to get involved and takes the time to show her clients the capability of Harrison Assessments. "
Jessica Hill - Head of People and Culture, Choice
"Balance at Work are the ideal external partners for us as they completely get what we are trying achieve in the People and Culture space. Their flexibility and responsiveness to our needs has seen the entire 360 approach being a complete success. The online tool and the follow up coaching sessions have been game changers for our business. The buzz in the organisation is outstanding. Love it! Thanks again for being such a great support crew on this key project."
Chris Bulmer - National GM Learning and Development, ISS Australia
"The leadership team at Insurance Advisernet engaged Susan from Balance at Work to run our leadership development survey and learning sessions. Susan was very professional in delivering the team and individual strengths and opportunities for growth. Susan's approach was very "non corporate" in style which was refreshing to see. I can't recommend Balance at Work more highly to lead employee and team development sessions."
Shaun Stanfield - Managing Director, Insurance Advisernet