Creating a Climate of Trust and Confidence by hkksew3563rd



    Creating a Climate of Trust and Confidence
Delegation is not simply the handing over of tasks to other people and waiting for
things to happen. Delegation can only be successful in the right environment. In this
article we offer some ideas on how to create a climate of trust and confidence in order
to foster effective delegation.

Overcome the fear of delegation
It is natural for someone to be nervous about handing over authority if they are used to
leading a team by ‘command and control’. Overcoming fear is the first step towards
successful delegation. If a manager feels hesitant and reluctant, their team members will
sense the lack of trust and confidence in them.
There are many possible reasons why people might be afraid of handing over control:

 • They are worried about dumping their work on others
Just because something is normally the job of a manager doesn’t mean that it can’t be done
by others (unless it is a specific role requirement or requires a particular level of authority to
complete). What is important is that the work is completed, not who does it. If team members
appear to be too busy, it is worthwhile for the manager to check what they are busy with. It
could be that they are working on low priority work, in which case it would be possible to
rearrange their workload so that they can carry out the delegated task first. Delegation is not
trying to make more work for the team, but to distribute it more evenly and efficiently so that
tasks get allocated according to skills and workloads within the team. If team members
understand this, they’ll be happy to contribute to the team effort.

 • They feel threatened
It is important for those who delegate to understand that they will not be handing over their
entire job – just certain tasks – and it is up to them which ones they hand over. Even if they
do hand over several tasks, the job of a manager will not become redundant. They will still
play an important role in supporting and guiding the team and will always remain ultimately
responsible for the work.

And why should you be worried about someone else doing a task better than you? If they
can do it really well, all the more reason for giving it to them! Remember, the aim is to make
your team more efficient and effective, and also to give other people opportunities to use
their skills and develop.

 • They don’t want to lose control
When work is handed over to others, it will take them a while to learn how to do it as well as
the person who usually does the work. Quality might be reduced to start with, and it might
not initially be done as quickly as it would be done by the person delegating the work.
However, time will be saved in the long run, as well as giving another team member an
opportunity to progress and develop. It is important that those people who are delegated to
receive enough support and guidance when they are learning a new task to help them get to
grips with it quickly.

 • They think that it would be quicker to do it themselves
Everyone takes time to learn something new. The more support they are given at the outset,
the more quickly they will be able to do the work themselves. Those delegating work should
ensure that they give clear instructions to start with, and provide plenty of guidance, praise,
feedback and reassurance along the way to help build confidence.

Ask, don’t tell
Delegation is about choice. People cannot be forced to be accountable for a task. They will
only take ownership of something if they want to. If employees feel that they are trusted to
make their own informed choices and can take ownership of something for themselves, they
will be more motivated. When tasks are being delegated, the delegator should ask people to
do things rather than tell them. Anticipating the attitudes and perceptions of those being
delegated to, will also put the person delegating in a stronger position to motivate them and
to gain their cooperation and agreement.

Explain why
Explain to those being delegated to why they are being asked to do a piece of work.
Reasons can range from their high level of skill in a particular area to development
opportunities. Even if it is just to help reduce the workload of others, they should be told. Any
perceived hidden agendas will only cause resistance and resentment.
It is also important to explain why the task needs to be done by putting it in context. If people
can see where the task fits into the ‘bigger picture’, they will be more likely to understand the
meaning and value of it, and the impact that it will have, which will increase their motivation
to do it.

Share information
People can only act responsibly if they have all the information they need. All relevant
information that could help team members to carry out their delegated tasks effectively
should be shared immediately. There are a number of benefits to the manager by being
more open with information. For example, by sharing information about the budget, team
members will understand any financial restraints there are and may consider more carefully
how resources are used. They may also come up with innovative ways for cutting costs.
Giving people information not only helps them to do their job better, it also demonstrates that
they are trusted to use the information sensibly.

Don’t cast blame
One of the biggest blocks to successful delegation is a blame culture. People will be
reluctant to be accountable for tasks in an environment in which they feel insecure and are
afraid to make mistakes. When something goes wrong, it is important that it isn’t perceived
that someone has been made into a scapegoat. Instead, mistakes should be embraced as
opportunities for learning. It is inevitable that everyone will make mistakes from time to time
– so the best approach is often to accept them and make the most of the situation.

Boost egos
Many individuals are very modest about their skills, or may not even know where their real
strengths lie. Highlighting and praising their strengths and key achievements will
demonstrate faith in their ability and build their confidence.

Strike a balance
After delegating a piece of work, a careful balance should be struck between monitoring the
person doing the work and leaving them unsupervised. If they have someone constantly
watching over them, they may resent it and feel that they are not trusted to do the job
properly. On the other hand, if they are left completely alone, they may feel isolated and
unsupported. A good strategy is to arrange a series of progress meetings at the outset and
stick to them. The person doing the work should feel able to approach the person who
delegated the work to them as often as they like outside these meetings, but the delegator
should only approach them if it is thought that they are really struggling.

Don’t take the task back
If someone is having real trouble trying to complete a task they have had delegated to them,
they should be provided with more support and coaching to help them get back on track. The
task should only be taken back or given it to someone else as an absolute last resort, as this
will demonstrate a lack of faith in the ability of the person and may damage their confidence.

        Know more. Do more. Achieve more.

 GoodPractice Ltd, developers of online toolkits to support performance improvement

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