Course - Delegation Skills

Overcoming Challenges to Delegation

Challenges to Delegation

Delegation can be a challenging process for many managers, and various obstacles can make it difficult to delegate tasks effectively. This section will discuss the common challenges to delegation and provide strategies to overcome these challenges.

Common challenges to delegation

Fear of losing control

The fear of losing control is a common obstacle that managers face when delegating tasks to their team members. This fear is often associated with the perception that the manager’s job is to control everything that happens in the workplace. However, in reality, delegating tasks can be an effective way for managers to achieve their goals while empowering their team members.

To overcome this obstacle, managers should:

  • Start small: Begin by delegating low-risk tasks and gradually increase the level of responsibility. This can help build trust between the manager and team member, reducing the fear of losing control.
  • Focus on the outcome: Rather than micromanaging the task, managers should focus on the outcome they want to achieve. This can help shift the focus from controlling the process to achieving the desired result.

Lack of trust

Managers may also struggle to delegate tasks due to a lack of trust in their team members. This lack of trust can stem from a lack of experience working with the team members or a perceived lack of competency.

To overcome lack of trust, managers should

  • Build relationships: Building relationships with team members can help managers get to know their strengths and weaknesses. This can help the manager gain confidence in their team members’ abilities.
  • Provide training: Providing training and resources to team members can help them develop the skills they need to complete the task effectively. This can help build trust in their abilities.


Perfectionism can also be a significant obstacle to effective delegation. Managers may have a perception that only they can complete the task perfectly and may, therefore, hesitate to delegate it to someone else.

To overcome Perfectionism, managers should:

  • Set clear expectations: Setting clear expectations for the task, including the expected outcome and performance standards, can help managers overcome the fear of the task not being completed perfectly.
  • Focus on the big picture: Rather than focusing on the small details, managers should focus on the big picture and the overall outcome they want to achieve.

Time constraints

Managers may not delegate tasks due to time constraints. They may feel that it is quicker to complete the task themselves than to spend time delegating it to someone else.

To overcome this obstacle, managers should

  • Prioritize tasks: Identify the tasks that are essential for the manager to complete and delegate the rest to team members.
  • Schedule time for delegation: Managers should schedule time for delegation to ensure that they have enough time to delegate tasks effectively.

Lack of delegation skills

Finally, some managers may struggle to delegate tasks effectively due to a lack of delegation skills. These skills include setting clear expectations, communicating effectively, and providing feedback and support.

To overcome this obstacle, managers should:

  • Seek training: Managers can seek training or coaching to develop their delegation skills.
  • Seek feedback: Asking for feedback from other managers or team members can help identify areas for improvement and develop delegation skills.
  • Use technology: Using technology, such as task management software or communication tools, can help managers delegate tasks effectively even if they lack delegation skills.

Simple Strategies to Overcome Challenges to Delegation

  1. Build trust: Building trust with your team members is essential for effective delegation. You can start by delegating small, low-risk tasks and gradually increase the level of responsibility.
  2. Develop delegation skills: Managers can develop their delegation skills through training or seeking feedback from other managers.
  3. Establish clear expectations: When delegating tasks, managers should establish clear expectations regarding the task’s outcome, timeline, and performance standards.
  4. Provide feedback and support: Managers should provide feedback and support to team members throughout the delegated task. This can help them stay on track and improve their performance.

Addressing resistance to delegation

  1. Identify the source of resistance: It’s essential to identify the source of resistance to delegation. Is it due to a lack of trust, fear of losing control, or lack of delegation skills?
  2. Provide training: If the resistance is due to a lack of delegation skills, providing training or coaching can help.
  3. Offer support: Offering support and feedback can help team members feel more confident and motivated to take on delegated tasks.
  4. Set clear expectations: Setting clear expectations and goals can help reduce resistance by giving team members a clear idea of what is expected of them.
  5. Celebrate successes: Celebrating team members’ successes can help boost their motivation and confidence in taking on more delegated tasks.


Delegation is a valuable tool for managers, but it can be challenging to implement effectively.

By understanding the common obstacles to delegation and implementing strategies to overcome them, managers can successfully delegate tasks and improve team performance.

Addressing resistance to delegation is also essential for developing a strong and effective team.

By providing support, feedback, and celebrating successes, managers can foster a culture of delegation that benefits everyone.

Download Free Worksheet on Challenges to Delegation

4 Sources

  • Harvard Business Review. (2021). Delegation. Retrieved from

  • Business News Daily. (2021, August 6). How to delegate tasks in the workplace
  • Blanchard, K. H., & Hersey, P. (1988). Management of organizational behavior: Utilizing human resources. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  • Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1980). Work redesign. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.