Mastering delegation: 4 myths debunked

by
Crystal Jepsen
Published:
January 18, 2023

Mastering delegation is crucial for all leaders and managers, as it allows them to effectively manage their workload, focus on the right priorities and utilize the strengths of their team members. However, there are many myths that prevent leaders from delegating work. Instead, they hold onto tasks they shouldn’t and have difficulty finding enough time to focus on key priorities. 

In this article, we’ll debunk four common myths about delegation. and the benefits of using an experienced virtual assistant for improving leadership productivity.

Myth #1 - Delegating work means I’m not doing my job 

Many people believe that delegating work means they’re not doing their job properly. This is a common misconception, but it’s important to understand that delegation is actually a crucial aspect of being an effective leader. Delegating work doesn’t mean that you’re shirking your responsibilities or failing to do your job. Instead, it means that you’re actively working to optimize your team's productivity and efficiency by assigning tasks to the right individuals.

Mastering delegation allows you to focus on the tasks that only you can do. As a leader, you have a unique set of skills and responsibilities that only you can fulfill. By delegating tasks that can be handled by others, you free up time and energy to focus on the tasks that drive your business forward. This allows you to lead your team more effectively and achieve better results for your organization.

Delegation also allows you to build a more efficient and effective team. By assigning tasks to the right individuals, such as an experienced virtual assistant, you can ensure that each team member is working to their full potential. This can lead to improved productivity, better communication and collaboration, and a more engaged and motivated workforce.

In addition, mastering delegation can also help you to develop the skills and abilities of your team members. By giving them responsibility for certain tasks and allowing them to take ownership of their work, you're providing them the opportunity to learn new skills and become more valuable members of your team.

Delegation is not a sign of weakness or a failure to do your job. Instead, mastering delegation is an essential aspect of being an effective leader. 

Myth #2 - Delegating work means I’m not in control

group of coworkers mastering delegation

Anxiety often stems from feeling a lack of control within your world. This anxiety has generated myth #2 on our list - giving up control and allowing others to make important decisions. This misconception can be a deterrent for some managers and leaders who are hesitant to delegate tasks to their team members. However, it’s important to understand that delegation doesn’t equal giving up control. Consider delegation a tool you can implement to maintain control over a project or task while also allowing others to take on responsibility and contribute their skills and expertise.

When you delegate work, you’re still the one who must oversee the project to completion and ensure its success. As the leader, you are accountable for the outcome of the project, and you’ll still be involved in the decision-making process. You’ll provide guidance and support to your team members as needed and still make important decisions about the direction and scope of the project.

Delegation is not about abdicating control, but about sharing it. You are assigning tasks and responsibilities to team members who you trust and have confidence in, while still retaining oversight and the ability to make important decisions.

In addition, mastering delegation can also help you identify and foster new leaders hiding within your team. By giving team members the opportunity to take on more responsibilities and make important decisions, you can unearth their leadership skills and strengthen their contributions to the team's success.

Instead of giving up control by delegating, you’re shifting your perspective of what control looks like as a leader by tapping into the experience of your virtual assistant or internal team members. 

Myth #3 - Only the boss can delegate work

leader of office standing and prepared to learn mastering delegation

Many people believe that only those in management or leadership positions have the ability to delegate work. This myth stems from a hierarchical view of leadership, where only those at the top of the organizational chart have the power and authority to assign tasks and responsibilities to others. However, this isn’t the case!

The reality is that anyone can delegate work, regardless of their position or level within an organization. Managers, team leaders, and individual contributors alike have the ability to delegate tasks to an experienced virtual assistant or other members of their team. Delegation is not just a management tool, it is a leadership tool and skill that must be sharpened and can be used by anyone who wants to improve their productivity and the overall performance of their team.

As an individual contributor, you can delegate work to your peers or any experienced virtual assistant. This can be a great way to build team productivity, provide new insights into your current workflow processes, and make the best use of your team's skill sets.

Delegation can also help to build a culture of accountability and ownership within an organization. When individuals at all levels are encouraged and empowered to delegate work, they’re more likely to take ownership of their responsibilities and become engaged in their work.

Now that we’ve smashed the myth that only the boss can delegate work, it’s time to foster a culture of growth by implementing delegation across all levels of your business. 

Myth #4 - Delegation is only for simple tasks

Finally, the last delegation myth to be debunked - that delegation is only for simple tasks and complex tasks can only be handled by the leader or manager. While it’s true that leaders have a unique set of skills and responsibilities only they can fulfill, believing you can’t delegate complex tasks prevents you from focusing on the bigger-picture tasks that propel your business forward into achieving your goals.

It’s important to note that delegation of complex tasks should be done with proper guidance and support and clear expectations and deadlines should be set. This is especially true when working virtually, even with an experienced virtual assistant. Leaders should also make sure that the individual has the necessary skills and knowledge to handle the task and be available to answer questions and provide support.

When guidance, expectations, and support are aligned, leaders and businesses alike will reap the benefits of delegating complex tasks. 

Delegation + project coordination: How a VA can help

virtual assistant sitting at her desk smiling and helping business' on mastering delgation

Mastering delegation is only one part of successful project coordination. Project coordination involves managing all aspects of a project, including planning, scheduling, and communication. It is the key to ensuring that all tasks are completed well and on time and that all team members are working towards the same goals.

One way to improve project coordination and effectively delegate administrative tasks is by using an experienced virtual assistant. Virtual assistants are professionals who provide administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely. They can help with a wide range of tasks, including scheduling, email management, research, and more. Using a virtual assistant can be especially beneficial for busy professionals who need extra support but don’t have the time or resources to hire additional in-house employees.

Book a consult with our Solutions team if you’d like to enlist the help of one of our experienced virtual assistants and become a master of delegation.

Want to learn more about hiring a virtual assistant?

View our services page to see all the ways we can support your team.

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Crystal Jepsen

Crystal joined Virtual Gurus in 2019 where she worked as a virtual assistant providing digital marketing services. She moved into the management team as a Client Success Manager in late December 2020 and has now settled into her role as Content Manager of Virtual Gurus. She's passionate about writing, beautiful graphics, and putting it all together into a story worth reading.

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