My name is Patricia and I suffer from self-enhancement bias.

Until recently, I didn’t know there was an official term for what I otherwise called perfectionism or that it remains the subject of analysis in the field of organizational behavioral psychology.

According to Jeffrey Pfeffer, Robert B. Cialdini, Benjamin Hanna & Kathleen Knopoffk, authors of the study “Faith in Supervision and the Self-Enhancement Bias: Two Psychological Reasons Why Managers Don’t Empower Workers,” self enhancement bias is the tendency of managers to evaluate a work product more highly, the more self-involved they are in its production.

This “affliction” prevents me from delegating work and stunts my growth as an effective manager.

In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, it is among the top reasons why managers don’t delegate.

HBR Contributing Editor Amy Gallo explains in her blog “some are perfectionists who feel it’s easier to do everything themselves, or that their work is better than others.”

The good thing is, I am not alone, and by paying attention to the signs and reading about the experiences of others, I can overcome my self-enhancement bias and trust that my fellow employees and staff are just as capable as I am in getting the job done.

Amy offers the following do’s and don’ts to help people like us along the path to “letting go.”


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  • Take note if you’re overwhelmed and your team members don’t seem to have enough to do — it’s a warning sign
  • Keep a visual reminder of your team’s development goals so you can easily identify opportunities to delegate
  • Ask your direct reports to call you out when you haven’t delegated enough



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  • Assume that you aren’t biased about other people’s performance
  • Give someone else responsibility for something and then micromanage the task to death
  • Be impatient — practice and learn from your mistakes