Helen Wilkie

Article Summary:

Learning delegation skills may be difficult at first, but its crucial to your overall success.

Delegation Skills

Delegation is a learned skill that's worth the time and effort

For new managers, delegation can be a difficult skill to learn. Skill? Yes, delegation is a management skill, and like other skills it takes practice.

There are three reasons inexperienced managers are often reluctant to delegate:

1. They are accustomed to receiving instructions and being the "doer" of tasks. Often they feel uncomfortable telling others what to do, so they load themselves up performing tasks that should be done by those reporting to them.

2. They think that it is quicker to do something themselves than spend the time showing others how to do it. An extension of this is that they don't trust others to do things as well as they can do it themselves.

3. They have a certain comfort level with the tasks they did before being promoted that they don't have with their new management responsibilities. Completing the task makes them feel good.

It's important to understand that all three of these reasons arise from the same source: lack of confidence in their ability to do the new job.

This is, of course, natural. The world of management is new, and in many ways a mystery. It takes perseverance to discover that

1) People expect their manager to give them work to do

2) Time spent teaching others is an investment that will bring dividends in the future, and also frees the manager up to learn his or her new job too

3) Pushing out of that old comfort zone is essential if they are ever to become effective managers.

You can't win the race if you don't leave the starting blocks!

Learning the skills of delegation may be painful at first, but it's worth the time and effort in the long run.

Helen Wilkie is a professional keynote speaker, workshop leader and author specializing in applied communication. Read more articles on this and other communication subjects on her website at www.mhwcom.com. Subscribe to Helen's free monthly e-zine, "Communi-keys", and get your free 40-page e-book, 23 ideas you can use RIGHT NOW to communicate and succeed in your business career!

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