If you’re feeling overwhelmed and the weight of the world is on your shoulders from your business, it may be a sign that you are not delegating enough.
Why is delegating so important to business owners? You may live by the motto that “if you want something done right, do it yourself,” but you may not have realized that is actually hurting you as a business.
When you are so busy feeling like a perfectionist and trying to handle all of your business tasks on your own, you’ll end up feeling burnt out, less productive, and your work quality will suffer. When you start delegating tasks, you allow yourself to give yourself room to breathe again, focus on less tasks, and rest assured that other tasks are getting handled by someone that is less stressed out than you. Take a look at these signs that you fear delegating in your business and what it’s costing you.
When you insist on doing everything yourself
The first sign that you are afraid to delegate is when you think you should do everything yourself and you insist on this. Your business will suffer however because the business can’t grow past what you can personally handle when you never allow anyone else to participate in the workload.
While it’s natural for entrepreneurs to fight asking for help, it takes a strong person to be willing to push aside this natural desire to do everything on their own. A true leader would know that focusing on their strengths and delegating tasks to others allows for better focus and a better chance at growing. It may seem scary to delegate because it’s like handing over authority, but the risk in delegating tasks allows for business growth.
You fear quality
Another sign that you fear delegating is that you are afraid if someone else tries to take on your workload, the job won’t get done right; not as good as you would have done it.
Plus, you may fear that the work you give up to someone else will leave your desk empty and you want to stay productive. In reality, you need more time back in the day to focus on your strengths or things that shouldn’t be delegated.
When you start giving up your workload, you now have time to move to a higher position or volunteer for more challenging tasks allowing for a more productive office for everyone.
Feeling that you wouldn’t know what to give up from your workload is another sign of fearing delegating because it means that haven’t even taken the time to examine your workload and activities that could be relinquished.
You don’t want to give up time and control
Are you concerned that you don’t truly have the time to explain how a process works to another person that could take over the job? When you don’t think you have the time to adequately explain a task to a team member for delegating it to them, you fear delegating it.
While it may be quicker to do the task yourself right now, in the future the task will get done quicker and quicker by your team member who has had a chance to learn it. Then, it’s off your plate for good and you can stay focused on bigger priorities.
It may be scary to give up control, allow someone else to take the responsibility for it, and you’d rather just keep it for yourself, but by checking in on the progress regularly, you’ll be able to decrease this fear and eventually not even need to worry about it. Try to look past your lack of confidence in your team by giving away small risks and as you see successes, start delegating more tasks and watch as your worries fade away.
Losing something you enjoy and no longer getting the credit
Sometimes people are afraid to delegate when they simply don’t want to lose the credit for the task. They enjoy getting the credit for their work, adding to their portfolio, or getting the pat on the back they crave.
Consider that if your team is doing this task for you, the whole team will get the credit for a job well done. While you may have enjoyed doing this task and hate to lose something you like, consider that your priority should be more “big picture” tasks and not smaller, enjoyable tasks that in reality just bog you down.
Fears that your team may experience
While you may be nervous to delegate tasks, your team may be just as anxious. A few of the common fears your team may be experiencing include:
- A lack of sufficient time to take on more tasks
- A fear of failure in accomplishing something you delegate well
- A lack of experience in the business to do a good job
- Feeling that the job doesn’t relate to their position
- Fear of being blamed for problems with a project due to the task
- Fear that the rest of the team will be jealous or confrontational about the task
You should also consider what the delegation of certain tasks means for your team member’s standing in the organization’s hierarchy and how that affects pay or resources such as an increase in travel needs.
It’s really common to be hesitant to delegate and to even fear doing it. For starters, your team is just as terrified about this as you are making everyone feel on edge about delegating tasks. You know that you could do it best yourself but you are running out of time and energy to do so.
Other tasks are falling by the wayside or are suffering in quality because you are trying to wear all of the hats in the organization. You don’t have time to train a team member in a task, nor do you want to see the quality of the task suffer by someone with little experience. Your team’s dynamic may shift as someone gains more responsibility or moves up the ladder, while your team may start to resent one another if a task isn’t done well and affects business.
Delegating is something that many business owners fear, but there are solutions to transitioning such as relinquishing small tasks to gain confidence, having open communication, and being clear with team members on expectations, the hierarchy, and not to blame a single individual for mistakes.
Recognize if you have a fear to delegate and start taking the steps to move past that. It’s a common fear in small businesses but once tasks start getting delegated, business owners are able to grow the company, take on more exciting challenges, and worry about more “big picture” goals.