Are you willing to empower others?
Before you answer, ask yourself this: Does the idea of delegating make you feel uneasy? If so, why is that?
It’s not easy to let go of what has been your routine and daily habits, but here is me your career strategist telling you: it’s time to let go of that sh!t – for your own good.
But let’s start first with understanding what may be going on.
Lack of Trust and Fear of Losing Control
You can be reluctant to empower others because you’re unsure if they can handle the responsibility or if they’ll do things as well as you would. Handing over responsibilities to others can also mean that you lose a certain level of control, and it can be scary. You might worry that things won’t get done correctly, or worse, you’ll be held responsible for other people’s f’ups.
Give others the benefit of the doubt: people change, and you may be pleasantly surprised to find someone on your team who is more than willing to grow and evolve. Keep an open mind and remember that trust is earned over time; allow your people to earn yours.
Another reason why you may be hesitant to delegate is imposter syndrome. Do you feel like your hard work won’t matter if others excel in their tasks? Or that it would make you less important and irrelevant?
It’s normal, especially if you have been burnt in the past when some unsavory colleague took the credit for your work or made you look bad.
The difference here is that you have much more control over the situation, what you delegate and to whom.
Let’s start with addressing the “I am getting replaced” question: take a moment to list your achievements and contributions to the team and organization.
Next is remembering also that your job is not your whole identity or your self-worth. You have more than earned your blood, sweat and tears- allowing someone else under your supervision to shine will ultimately reflect positively on you.
Why Empowering and Delegating is a Smart Career Move
By empowering others and delegating tasks, you free up time to focus on more important tasks. New projects but also positioning yourself as an expert, working on your internal PR and personal branding.
Take that new space as an invitation to sharpen your management skills and showcase your leadership potential.
When you’re not bogged down with menial tasks, you can elevate your view and demonstrate your leadership abilities to your managers, increasing your chances of promotions and career advancement.
How to Kick off the Process
Start by identifying the strengths and interests of your team members. By delegating tasks that align with their skills and passions, you can ensure greater success.
Invest time in mentoring them, and providing guidance and support as they take on new responsibilities.
Begin by delegating smaller tasks and gradually increase the complexity and scope of the projects assigned. This helps build trust and confidence, both in yourself and the person you’re empowering.
Remember to celebrate successes and learn from failures. When someone you’ve empowered succeeds, give them credit where it’s due. If they encounter challenges or fail, use it as a learning opportunity for both of you.
By understanding why you may be resistant to the idea of empowering others and then recognizing the benefits of doing so, you can start the process of delegation and mentoring. This not only enhances your career prospects but also creates a more collaborative and successful work environment.
Next time you’re feeling uncertain about delegating, ask yourself these questions:
- What is the main objection you have: is it a fear of the unknown or a lack of trust?
- What is the cost of not delegating? (time, energy, deliverables)
- Perhaps it’s time to have a difficult conversation with yourself and the other stakeholder?