Do You Micromanage?

Or maybe you do and you aren’t aware of it? Perhaps you can see it in the discomfort of your team, who bristle at you telling them exactly what and how to do things.

Are you always looking over their shoulders? “Checking in”?

Maybe…don’t TRUST them to do their jobs?

The negative effects are clear. Team members WANT to be empowered to do their work. They WANT to feel trusted to do good work.

When they are not, morale drops. Discomfort grows. Annoyance. Frustrations.

But yet it’s not about them. It’s about YOU.

What is it about you that makes you NOT TRUST they will get the work done?

Perhaps there is a need in you to see the work done in a certain way?

A fear of reprisal to you if it isn’t perfect?

Something else?

Micromanaging comes up in coaching sessions with managers, especially new ones, and ones who come from expert technical backgrounds.

If you micromanage or think you do, or maybe someone has told you that you do, what if you were to name the feelings that come up when you think of the work done by your teams? When you look at this list, what makes you feel that way?

Addressing the trust, or lack thereof, would be a key component in coaching.

Another possible solution – I am a big fan of Ken Blanchard’s Situational Leadership model: It defines when more direction is appropriate, even desirable, which is when a team member is new to a task.

As the team member grows in skill and experience, you gradually remove direction and increase autonomy.

So yes, a bit more direction is actually appropriate in the workplace AT THE RIGHT TIME. However so is handing off that trust at some point, so that you can meet the team member at where they are in their growth, resulting in more effective and happy teams.

And maybe, even a happier you as manager.

Image credit: Kacy Maxwell on LI

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