We were discussing our successes and failures regarding delegation. As usual, people offered a variety of reasons why delegation was not in the cards for them despite the fact that they were overwhelmed at work. Every single person in the room had direct reports who could help them. Excuses such as "I don't have enough time to teach" or "I can do it faster myself" or "I don't trust them to get it right" or even "my boss wants me to do everything myself" were offered. One woman explained how she had tried to delegate in the past, but her employee had not done the work the right way. She decided at that moment that the employee had just proven her theory correct: if you want it done right; do it yourself. So, she withheld assignments from that employee moving forward.
Another participant asked whether she (the supervisor) could have done anything differently to affect the outcome. Someone else asked how the supervisor's decision to withhold assignments made the employee feel. At the end of the class, we were sharing our plans for implementing delegation. Our now wiser supervisor volunteered that as part of her Action Plan, she would return to work, apologize to her employee and take the time necessary to explain what needed to be done and why and to schedule frequent follow-up meetings to check on progress. She realized she had given up too quickly before and forfeited an opportunity to free up time for herself while providing someone else valuable experience and satisfaction.