Delegating The Dull Stuff We Don’t Like Doing: Three Great Reasons That Make This A Good Habbit!

For aficionados in the art of delegation, suggesting getting others to do the things we don’t like doing may seem flippant, and in some ways, it is.  Delegation is a skill often not taken as seriously as it should be. In fact, we believe it is a skill of such impact and importance it was the subject of our previous blog – Delegation, Part 1.   It’s also true there are heaps of circumstances when you need to do activities that you don’t enjoy, not least that if we are not feeling some discomfort occasionally, we are unlikely to be really learning anything new.

Notwithstanding this, delegating or transferring the things we don’t like doing or are not good at can result in significant upside and should not be easily discounted.

In any busy leadership role, delegating effectively is a crucial skill.  If we don’t nail it, we can quickly become a bottleneck, impeding our organisation’s effectiveness and growth.  Delegation is not merely about offloading tasks; it’s a strategic decision that can benefit individuals and teams profoundly. This skill needs to be learned and practised (our Delegation, Part 1 blog contains some great tips). Even when leaders get all this, they can be reluctant to delegate tasks they think others won’t like doing, so are three great reasons why leadership may want to think again.

Diverse Thinking & Doing Preferences:

I recently heard an interview with children discussing maths and English. One child said they liked maths because there was a correct answer.  In English literature, there were opinions and multiple answers.  I have never enjoyed maths, but I love the discussion around English.  This highlights that every individual possesses a unique set of skills, experiences, and thinking preferences. What may seem like a burdensome chore to one person might be a stimulating challenge for another. So, by understanding and leveraging the strengths & preferences of others, a team can operate much more efficiently, and delegation becomes a mechanism for tapping into a group’s collective intelligence, fostering innovation and problem-solving.

Preservation of Energy:

Life is too short to spend a lot of time on tasks that do not bring a degree of joy or satisfaction. Engaging in tasks that drain our energy can have a detrimental impact on our overall well-being and productivity. Delegating allows us to conserve mental and emotional resources for activities that align with our strengths and passions. We can then channel energy into areas where we can make the most significant impact. This results in more fulfilling work and heightened efficiency and effectiveness.

Development of Others:

Our assumptions may be entirely wrong if we keep hold of less personally rewarding tasks because we think others won’t like doing them either. We may also deny others the opportunity to learn new skills, build confidence, and take on leadership roles. Delegation allows individuals to stretch beyond their comfort zones and grow both personally and professionally. They may even come up with better ways of doing these tasks than we could ever come up with ourselves.

So, just because we don’t like doing certain things does not mean others won’t like doing them either. Playing to individual strengths and preferences is an essential part of achieving team effectiveness and efficiency.  Delegating the stuff we’re not good at or don’t like doing or negotiating a transfer to a more suitable colleague can be a practical strategy for managing workload and making more efficient use of time.

What unappealing task will you delegate today?