Let’s face it — no one likes being micromanaged. It’s a very unflattering way of telling someone they are not capable of doing a task on their own without tight controls governing every part of the process to completion. Micromanaging breeds contempt and poisons the work environment because it’s so insidious. What’s worse is that most micromanagers don’t even realize they are engaging in such behavior. This is made evident when someone points out the behavior and a defensive, oftentimes angry, response is the result.
In addition to these things, micromanaging is ironically counterproductive. While a manager or supervisor is busy micromanaging, he or she isn’t doing his or her job. It’s so ineffective precisely because it’s inefficient by its very nature. This management style does far more harm than it does good and that’s another reason it’s so hated.
How to Beat the Micromanagement Urge
If you’ve come to the conclusion you’re a micromanager, that’s a great first step. However, it doesn’t mean that you’ll altogether abandon your old ways. Those habits are going to be quite difficult to break. This isn’t like breaking a nail-biting habit because you find so much comfort and reassurance when engaging in the behavior. It’s probably something you’ve done all of your working life and when you begin to make a change, you’ll likely encounter disbelief from others.
If you have identified that you are a micromanager, it’s time to stop the cycle and avoid harming your business any further. It may seem like this challenge is insurmountable because you will have to change the way you think about delegation and your business processes and responsibilities, but breaking the micromanagement cycle is the only way to get on the path to business growth. —Small Business, About.com
As you learn to let-go, you might even experience the strange phenomenon of encountering resistance because others will think you’re up-to-something nefarious. Okay, so enough of the negative, let’s look at how to make the transformation. Employees are hired because of their experience and talent and you’ve been given the responsibility to manage a team. That’s a big endorsement of your prowess and speaks volumes about what you can achieve. Because micromanaging is so damaging, you can change your ways by doing the following:
- Empower team members with achievable goals. The first step is to begin to let-go, but, that’s easier said than done. One way to beat the urge to micromanage is to give employees reasonable goals and checking their progress periodically. Don’t make the mistake of giving them goals and then hounding hour-after-hour and day-after-day. Allow them space and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.
- Look for employee strengths and utilize these. Everyone has talents and these are some of the best resources to call upon in the world of business. Recognize individual talents and match each team member with a suitable responsibility. You’ll experience more productivity and a happier work environment when you do this.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Notice the word “communication,” as in listening and having a real dialogue when needed. Once you revert to your old ways of “telling,” rather than listening and fostering a relationship, you’re going to sabotage your own efforts.
- Explore and pursue new skills. To keep yourself occupied, find and pursue new skills. It’s not only a way to grow but also, will keep you from giving into the urge to micromanage. In addition, you’ll likely find that doing so is not only stimulating but also, gives you more tools to succeed in your career.
- Reward your team members regularly. When employees reach goals, be sure to give them a reward. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive, it’s often enough to show your appreciation.
It won’t be an easy transition, but with a bit of mentoring and commitment, you’ll find your professional and personal lives to be much more satisfying.