Once you’ve discovered you have a fear of delegating, is there anything you can do to get over it? You realize that delegating means you’ll have a more efficient office, a business that’s capable of growing, and you’ll feel less stressed, but still you can’t find it in you to do it. You are still afraid to lose control, give up the credit, give up tasks you enjoy, and you may not have the confidence to really relinquish control to another team member.
What would it mean for the office dynamic if you started giving a team member the authority to handle some of the marketing efforts, the ability to travel to clients, or the power to help create new products? It affects the hierarchy, company resources, and there could be more confrontation when things go wrong and mistakes get made.
It could also mean that you free up time for yourself to take on more responsibility, try new challenges, and to grow the business by focusing more on the “big picture” items. When you’re afraid to delegate but you know it’s in the best interest of the company, take a look at these techniques that will allow you to recognizing your fears, moving past them, and how to start delegating today.
Why delegating is so important
It may help you to first recognize the important behind delegating. While it’s a risk to do, it pays off in business growth and increased quality. When more people are doing all of the tasks you were trying to do yourself before, there is now more minds, more energy, and more time going into each task.
You aren’t scurrying through your work, trying to do the bare minimum with everything, and letting certain tasks fall by the wayside. You are now getting all of those tasks done between more sets of eyes and while you are exchanging company resources for this, you are opening up yourself to a wide range of potential opportunities with your extra time and renewed energy levels. Delegating, while it may be a risk to hand off authority, will lower the risk in your business in the long-term if done the right way.
Where to begin with conquering your fear of delegating
Once you’ve recognized there’s a problem and you’re open to start delegating and taking the risk, start by looking at what your specific fears are. Are you concerned that a task won’t get done or will suffer in quality? If you flip the risk in the other direction, you can ask yourself what would happen if YOU don’t get it done or if it the quality isn’t there because YOU are suffering from burnout. Doesn’t it make more sense to hand it off to someone who, after a learning curve, may do it even better than you could have imagined?
Take a look at where you need to be focusing your energies in the company so that you can better examine what areas you could be giving up to others. For example, you maybe be best spending your time and energy focusing on long-term goals, how you can grow the company, and “big picture” items.
If you feel that your best contribution is actually in developing projects, marketing, or maintain your online presence through your website, blog, and social media presence, perhaps you need to bring in help for “big picture” items, administrative tasks, and customer service.
Most business owners want to put their work into the strategic thinking, building relationships, and specific operational tasks, but all business owners are different. Identifying where you should be focusing is a great way to start overcoming your fear to delegate because once you know where your strengths are, it’s easy to start having someone handle tasks that you dislike, don’t do well, or take up too much brainpower.
Stop putting off business-building activities because you run out of time during the day-to-day operations and instead, delegate these tasks to allow yourself time to focus on the items that take the highest priority and bring in the most value to the company’s growth.
What is your fear?
Once you’ve analyzed why things have gotten to this point and why you fear delegating, it’s time to name the fear to clarify what is actually bothering you. Addressing the issue will allow you to make decisions and move forward. The common concerns people have when it comes to delegating typically relate to feeling out control, concerns that the work won’t get done or get done well, feeling an inconvenience to others or fearing that the work won’t get done the way you’d prefer, and worrying about being bossy or mean in asking someone else to do it.
When you decide to do it yourself, you may start to realize that you are stressing yourself out, you are losing sleep and feeling frustrated, you are limiting the growth of your team while limiting your own possibilities for growth and you are feeling out of control. If you can relate to any of these problems, name your specific fears in detail so that you can start working on them one by one.
Dealing with the fears and taking small risks
Now that you have a better idea of what your actual fears are and why it’s important to start delegating, you can start taking steps towards overcoming your fears by dealing with them head on and taking smaller risks. Look over your perceived risks’ list and ask yourself where you are at now and where you’d like to end up.
For example, if you are struggling to hand over your customer service tasks such as handling complaints, helping your customers one-on-one, or answering the phones, ask yourself how it’s going doing this by yourself and what it would look like having other people do what you do but in a larger quantity.
Can you imagine having multiple phone lines being answered, a complaint department with customers that hang up with a smile on their face, and multiple company representatives talking to your customers face-to-face in multitudes because you have so much help and so many more sales happening at once?
All it would take is a simply phone script to follow and starting with one or team members answering your phones or helping with a customer complaint. If things were to escalate, have them transfer the call to you and watch how little that needs to even happen.
If your customers stop into your business and someone else’s smiling face greets them and helps them with explaining your products and services, you are now freed up to work on your next product or service idea while your customers are helped with your current ones. You are bound to grow as a company and your team can learn the types of service expectations you will require.
Minimize the risk of delegating by offering up small risks to a team member until trust is built and a learning curve has been established. Write down what your perceived risk is and what your strategy may be to handle it.
For example, if your fear is that the work won’t get done, your strategy may be to follow-up with your employee on each task after so much time has passed or after a certain part of the task has been accomplished. Make a running list of how or when you will review the tasks that were delegated and you’ll constantly be reassured that it’s getting done or you will know before things get too far where a problem has come up that needs corrected. Before you know it, your staff will understand your needs and you won’t need to check in so often.
When you fear delegating tasks and giving up authority, start taking the steps to overcoming the fear. You may need to write down what your fears are in detail so that you have a chance to come up with a strategy to overcoming the fear. Start trusting your staff slowly but surely so that the picture of where you are to where you could be can become a reality.