Leaders, do you immerse yourself in overseeing your team’s projects? Do you focus on correcting the details at the expense of the big picture? Have you ever discouraged your team from making decisions without consulting you? You might be a micromanager. Micromanagers take attention to detail to the extreme. They need to be in control, often at the expense of their own health and their team’s success.
“I’m not a micromanager, I’m just a control freak.”
“It’ll save time if I do it myself.”
“There is too much at stake to allow this to go wrong.”
These are not reasons—they are excuses. Continuing this way may allow you to feel in control in the short term, but you risk disempowering colleagues, ruining your team’s confidence, hurting their performance, and frustrating them to the point of quitting. You also limit your ability to view the big picture by filling your time and mental capacity with deep level details. So, stop. There’s a better way. We challenge you to encourage your team’s innovation by letting them determine what needs to happen and how.
Instead of dictating the details of a project, give your team an objective and let them tell you what needs to happen and how the work will be done. You can offer guidance and coaching, while allowing them the freedom to get creative, learn from mistakes, and grow.
How to stop micromanaging:
- Understand why you are doing it. What excuses do you use to enable micromanaging?
- Get (confidential) feedback from your team. How does your micromanaging affect them?
- Prioritize your actions. Where do you add the most value?
- Communicate with your team. Tell them your priorities. Schedule check ins. Be clear about the level of detail you expect and where you will be involved.
- Get more feedback. Ask your team: How can I help you best? What can I do differently? Are our objectives clear to you? Do you have the support and resources to accomplish them? How do you want to be managed?
- Build trust. Tell your team you trust them and their abilities and then follow through on letting go.
- Know your team. Know their skills and limitations. Coach your staff so they can complete tasks on their own.
Hold your teams accountable to the outcome, not the process. Creativity will flourish and you might just learn something new. CEEK a Better Way®!