Micromanaging, It’s annoying, it’s demoralizing, it destroys teams. Most of us have probably had it done to us at some point in our lives. Whether we knew it or not. It probably had an effect on you and your work. So how do you avoid doing it as a leader yourself? You may think its as easy as “Don’t manage every task” but sometimes it can be hard to see you’re doing it. So lets delve into micromanaging and what it entails. And maybe we can come out of this a little better than we were before.
What is micromanaging?
Well, I like to start things off with a definition and then go more further into details so what is the definition of micromanagement?
“manage[ment] especially with excessive control or attention on details”. Dictionary.com defines micromanagement as “manage[ment] or control with excessive attention to minor details”.
Pretty easy to understand right? Excessive attention to minor details. What does that look like? Well lets list some “Signs” or “things” that can warn of us micromanagement.
- Constant need to involve yourself in tasks
- Extreme attention to every small detail
- Cant delegate tasks
- Can’t see the big picture
- Doesn’t use the experience of colleagues.
- Doesn’t let team members make decisions.
These are some easy signs of micromanagement. If you see yourself or others acting or behaving in these ways, its a big warning sign about their, or your own leadership.
Why micromanagement is detrimental.
So whats so wrong about it all? isn’t it a leaders job to manage everyone and pay attention to detail?
Well yes and no. As a leader you need to be more focused on the bigger picture of the project and less worried about the details. there’s a couple reasons why micromanagement is a terrible thing. Lets go through some.
If you are constantly checking on peoples work, making sure its all being done correctly, making decisions on small issues. Your team is going to start thinking you don’t trust them(Which you don’t). This leads to your team being demoralized. Which as we spoke of in another post is a massive issue.
If you are constantly micromanaging your team, are you able to have the time to make the big picture decisions that you, as the leader, need to make? Always being involved in every small decision that has to be made is going to take away time from you making decisions that actually matter to being a leader.
People have to make bad decisions. People have to make good decisions. It is fundamental to growing and becoming better. Allowing members of a team to make some small bad decisions is not always a negative. Your team will be able to grow from that and come out better in the end. Having a team in the end that can make good decisions on their own without you worrying about it is one of the biggest assets you can have as a leader.
Face the facts. No one person understands how to do everything, otherwise we wouldn’t need teams. You need to understand that other peoples insight is valuable and is essential to creating a great end product. If you make every decision the end result will suffer greatly.
How to stop micromanaging
So maybe you find you are a micromanager, or maybe just a little. How do we become better? how do we start allowing people to make their own decisions?
Well as the saying goes “The first step is realizing there’s a problem” So good job!
It’s quite simple to stop micromanaging, but simple isn’t always easy. Its hard to trust people. Especially trusting a new team. So what can we do?
The key word is “Objectives” Set them and oversee the end results and give feedback. Lets break it down:
- Set objectives for individuals or teams
- Make sure said objectives are quantifiable and understandable
- Set a deadline
- Set results that you want to see for these objectives
- Ensure the results end up with progress towards the end goal
After this set up some meetings where people can report either progress on the objectives or the completion of said objective where you can give your feedback and criticism. Now feedback and criticism is another topic i will be addressing in another post. So we will leave that bit alone as is.
Now none of this means you cant check up on employees, see how its all going. Or maybe even making suggestions. It’s good to understand team members work flow, state of mind, reasoning. Thats entirely different then coming into a project and being controlling.
Hopefully you learned from this post. I sure did. I thank you for stopping by and spending some time in my little corner of the internet. I hope you have a wonderful day.