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Overcoming the Fear of Delegation


If you’re the type of leader or manager who would love to delegate more but find yourself stuck, focusing on all of the things that could go wrong, then this blog is for you.

In this article and video, I’m going to share three powerful mindset shifts that will help you overcome some of the most common blockers that many leaders and managers have around delegation.



Understanding the Fear of Delegation

To start, let’s acknowledge the mental blockers or fears we have about all the things that could go wrong if we were to delegate.

The first thing to remember is to be kind to ourselves.

As humans, we have an inbuilt negativity bias. We naturally focus on all the things that could go wrong, the threats and dangers. This bias has historically kept us safe, like watching out for the proverbial Sabre-tooth tiger.

In the modern workplace, this same thinking leads us to overly focus on the risks of delegating.

It’s true—there are risks. A task might not go according to plan, or a team member might make an absolute pigs-ear of it.

But they might not, especially if we delegate with enough time and provide coaching and support.

You see, we often focus on the risks of delegating without considering the potential upsides and benefits, or the risks of not delegating.


Shifting Your Mindset: Three Areas of Positive Focus

To shift your perspective, let’s explore three areas of positive focus around delegation—areas where significant benefits can be gained.


#1. Benefits to the Organisation

Delegating can lead to a more efficient, effective, and productive team.

By delegating, we remove ourselves as the bottleneck, enabling our team to become a genuine high-performing team.

This also allows us to step into leader mode more often, working on high-value strategic projects that drive the results our organisation aims to achieve.


#2. Benefits to the Team

Delegation improves motivation within the team.

When done well, delegation grants people autonomy—a major motivator at work. Autonomy provides a sense of freedom and choice, which can significantly boost morale. Additionally, delegation enhances the team’s skills and offers growth opportunities.

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualisation, which involves learning, growing, and fulfilling potential, is at the top of the pyramid.


#3. Benefits to the Leader (You)

Delegating frees up time in our diaries, allowing us to stop and think, and focus on strategic projects.

It helps us step into leader mode more often and step out of doing or managing mode. With more time for leading, our team becomes more engaged, inspired, and focused on the vision, resulting in better support and continuous improvement in performance.

This creates a virtuous cycle of positive effects and impact.


Embracing Delegation

Delegating comes with a host of benefits and some risks, just like any other aspect of leadership.

However, by focusing on the positives and recognising the potential downsides of not delegating, we can embrace delegation as a powerful tool for growth and efficiency.

Remember, the key to successful delegation is providing enough time, coaching, and support to your team members, allowing them to thrive and deliver the results we all strive for.

So, take a moment to reflect on these points and start delegating more.

Embrace true leadership and watch your team, and yourself, flourish.


Want Your Leaders to Spend More Time in Leader Mode?

If you’re looking to improve the leadership capability within your organisation, take a look at the Leadership Training pages of my website here and then book a free, no-obligation discovery call with me via this link.


Your coach,

Corporate Whack Attack


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