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Is an inability to delegate holding you back?

Recently we were chatting to a talent manager and he was describing how a very likeable manager had been overlooked for promotion. This was because of his inability to delegate effectively. The point was proved to him when he witnessed said manager loading a large amount of equipment into the back of the hire car, while three members of his warehouse team were standing about doing nothing.

A leaders inability to delegate not only hinders a team's performance but hinders individuals in that team from developing and progressing. It is paramount that you assess your managers and look at how effectively they manage to delegate tasks.

How inspiring are they? Are they inspiring in their approach to delegation? Can they get people to do things because they want to, rather than because they have to? Are they utilising the diversity of skills within their team properly? Are they taking on too much and therefore unable to spend time doing what managers should be doing?

Most importantly, what is stopping them from delegating? Fear? Guilt? Poor communication skills? Don't know how to do it properly? Think others already have too much to do? No time?

Remember delegation is not you trying to do less work, it ensures that you are able to do the work you should and need to be doing. Furthermore delegation should provide a challenge for your subordinates and encourage them to develop their skills. As they take on tasks that exceed their basic job description, they will develop new knowledge and skills to cope with those tasks. Such development will prepare your team for future assignments and promotions. Delegation is a clear sign that you respect your subordinates' abilities and that you trust their discretion.

Employees who feel that they are trusted and respected tend to have a higher level of commitment to their work, their organization, and especially their manager. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, delegation often improves responsiveness to customers. The people who have the most contact with customers, whether they are external customers or internal customers, are usually the ones with the most complete information about how best to serve them. Hence, delegation can help empower subordinates to take action to improve customer satisfaction.

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