In our last blog, we wrote about external sources of conflict and highlighted how effective communication can reduce the amount of conflict in the workplace. In this installment, we would like to highlight an internal source of conflict and the impact it can have on the team and organization.

As an executive coach and leadership development trainer, I have identified a few sources of conflict with many of our clients; one primary internal source is that when a leader fails to delegate, they eventually burn out. I will share with you one such story when I experienced burnout because I didn’t delegate.

I grew up quickly in my previous career. I was eager and hard-charging; nothing stood in my way from day one, and it was evident that I would rise through the ranks quickly because I took on every task myself. I soon began to feel internal signals that I was overloaded, but I wasn’t sure why. It wasn’t until I returned from a much-needed vacation that I realized my inner conflict about my job was self-induced. It was because I didn’t delegate tasks to my team. I recall one morning when one of my direct reports came to me and said, “you know, we can help you too; it doesn’t only have to be you who does everything.” I didn’t listen and proceeded as I always had because it felt easier.

Let’s be honest; delegation can be very difficult for supervisors. Letting go of a project can be scary at times because you may not know how it will turn out if you let go. The other person may not dot every i and cross every t, adding to your heightened anxiety. However, leaders must pull themselves out of the weeds to grow themselves and their teams. If you want to accelerate your leadership ability, delegation is a must.

Back to my story. I failed to listen to my team when they offered support, so when I returned from my vacation, I quickly realized the impact. The shop was a disaster; money was missing; personnel were unaccounted for; frustration had set in. My natural response was to be upset with my team for not carrying the torch, but how could I be? It wasn’t their fault that the money was missing; it wasn’t their fault that one of the staff hadn’t come to work in days; and it wasn’t their fault that fear prevented me from teaching them how to manage the systems in place to avoid all of this disaster from happening. My lack of ability to delegate and failure to trust the team led to multiple problems which took months to correct.

As you go through your week, I’d like to ask you to consider these questions: What am I currently doing to delegate to my team? How can my ability to get out of the weeds help me prevent my burnout? What is the chief concern that keeps me from delegating to my staff? We would love to hear your responses to these questions.

The Personnel Perspective is a full-service HR management consulting firm specializing in executive coaching and leadership development, human resources, and recruiting. The firm’s core belief is that a company achieves organizational excellence through its people. Contact us to learn more: (707) 576-7653.