Learning To Let Go by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPV

As a supervisor, manager, or leader, it can be very challenging to let go of control of specific aspects of the operation. It can be particularly difficult for entrepreneurs and founders of companies, businesses, and organizations, or those who tend to micromanage or see only one way of doing things.

However, letting go and learning to delegate is critical to both your personal health as well as the growth and health of the business. Learning to delegate responsibilities and roles to qualified individuals in the business allows you to focus on your areas of expertise while also building the next generation of leadership for the business.

To get comfortable with delegating in your business, department, or team, start with the following ideas, tips, and strategies:

  • Assess your use of time – keep track of the things you do every day for a week. Next, look at repetitive, time-consuming, and non-critical tasks that you would like to remove from your daily or weekly workload. At the same time, highlight the tasks you find enjoyable, rewarding, and want to continue managing or taking an active role in completing.
  • Assess your team – review your team members and determine their areas of strength. This is often highlighted in performance reviews as well as regular conversations, KPIs, observations, and feedback from other team members.
  • Match tasks to strengths – the list of tasks you want to delegate can be matched to the areas of strength for each team member. By pairing the team member with a task that matches their strength, there is less time needed in teaching or supporting the individual in assuming that responsibility.
  • Share the strategy – talk to the team as a whole as well as each individual member about the delegation. Sharing your vision and goals and listening to both group and individual feedback creates a more collaborative and supportive environment.
  • Plan to coach and support – coaching or mentoring individuals in their new or expanded roles is essential, particularly if you have been in control or the decision-maker in the past. Working with individuals to support their styles and ideas opens up the possibilities for improved efficiency, innovative processes or practices, and increased productivity.

As you become comfortable with delegating tasks, encourage your leadership team to also delegate tasks. When everyone in the organization is provided with reasonable responsibility, they feel valued, involved, and more engaged. This results in greater employee retention and individuals within the company who are ready and willing to step into more responsibility, adding to your internal leadership pool.