“Micromanagement: The Signs and How to Fix It”
“I cannot work with my boss, it’s suffocating the way he micromanages”
Most of us have heard such comments from our colleagues, knowns or may be even experienced it ourselves in our professional lives. The hard truth is no one likes to be micromanaged.
Indeed, every leader aspires to accelerate growth and thus seeks the best performance from their teams. However leaders get too engrossed in the work of their team members and unknowingly start micromanaging them rather than offering help or guidance.
If you’re unsure whether you are micromanaging your team even without realising it, deep dive for some key tips to spot it and how you can steer away from micromanaging and adopt an inspiring leadership style.
Signs of micromanagement & how to fix it?
Micromanagement, in simple words is all about ‘controlling,’ rather than ‘leading.’
Simply, it is a poor managerial approach in which the leader very intensely monitors and commands the team members.They often hold all the decision-making power, regardless of how small those decisions might be.
It is a demanding management approach that only produces short-term gains and can get quite exhausting on both the team and management.
This leadership approach often leads to poor results, discourages innovation, lowers employee satisfaction, reduces productivity, and many a time leads to higher attrition rates.
It can also has a direct impact on the bottom line of the company. Usually, what begins as an effort to boost the team’s performance backfires and slows the team’s growth instead.
Most workplace psychologists say that it is usually toxic work behaviour that fosters disputes and lowers employee productivity, flexibility, and satisfaction rates. According to a LinkedIn survey, employees ranked “micromanagement” as the second most unpleasant quality of a manager.
Micromanagement traits are often seen in professionals consumed by perfectionism or have a highly unskilled team to handle.Some of the most extreme behaviours connected with micromanagement include paying excessive attention to detail on how and when the work should be done, they take most of the decisions by themselves irrespective of how big or small they are, meticulously organise assignments, and painstakingly monitoring the amount of time employees spend at their desks, on their breaks, etc. Managers and leaders should realize that such conduct does no good to anyone and hence mindfully work towards creating an empowering work culture around them.
Are You a Micromanager?
Go ahead and evaluate yourself! If you answered yes to at least one of the below mentioned questions, you probably need to re-look at your management style.
- Do you prefer a lot of reporting and monitoring with frequent updates, status reports, or check-ins?
- Do you always focus on what should be improved or changed, rather than expressing appreciation
- Do you insist on dictating how things are done and what methods are to be followed?
- Do you often take charge of the tasks if mistakes happen by the team?
- Do you find it difficult to delegate and trust and prefer to complete tasks alone instead?
- Demonstrate unrealistic high standards?
- Do you want to be consulted for every decision?
How Leaders Can Quit Micromanagement?
While micromanagement can be useful in the short-term, especially for high-risk projects or new recruits, it becomes self-defeating as a long-term strategy. To make your employees feel empowered, trusted, and independent, you need to let go of unwarranted control and trust them to perform their jobs well.
If you, as a leader or a manager, have micro-managerial tendencies and wish to correct them, consider these positive leadership tactics to get unstuck from micromanaging.
Learn the Art of Delegating
Delegating—and letting go—is an essential skill for all managers and leaders. Remember, you have hired a team with unique skill sets to help you deliver better. You need to harness their strengths and skills to get things done efficiently. The biggest advantage of delegation is that it builds trust, employees feel empowered and accountable. Make sure you leverage the art of delegation while you help your team move forward by encourage a learning culture, normalizing making mistakes, and calling out for support when they really need it.
Establish Clear Expectations
If you don’t set expectations up front, it can be a recipe for failure. Your employees will perform better if you are more specific about the goals of a project, the deadline for completion, and the standards by which you will gauge its success.
Give your staff a chance to demonstrate their abilities by clearly articulating the objectives of a particular initiative and how they relate to the organization’s mission.It’s critical to highlight that you are telling them what you want them to do, not how you anticipate that they will do so.
Ask Employees For Their Opinions
Ask each member of your team how they prefer to be managed if you want to establish a strong working connection with them. Although it’s more probable that you’ll hear that your staff members value trust and value autonomy than that some will say they don’t mind a little more hand-holding.
By holding this two-way discussion, you can both let go of any preconceived notions you may have about how you’re doing as a manager and demonstrate to your staff that you value their viewpoints. Perhaps you’re disregarding blatant indications that you micromanage.
Trust Your Team
Many micromanagers lack trust, which is why they behave in this way. They don’t believe that someone else can perform the task as well as they can. Face your problems first, and then work to empower your team to be successful. If they are performing the activity as you would, instead of condemning, ask questions to gain knowledge while also providing constructive criticism.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that the goal of a leader is to be a coach, address challenges, and make high-level strategic decisions.
All you need to work towards is creating a thriving work culture. Focus on creating robust processes, give clarity of purpose, assign responsibilities, and track deliveries. Most importantly showcase faith and trust in the team you work with.
Remember, successful leadership involves being able to hold individuals responsible for their actions in a way that fosters improvement rather than blame, as well as giving them the precise balance of support and independence they need to thrive. Adopt a leadership style that is empowering. Influence and inspire your team to be the best version of themselves by being an enabler and not a micromanaging leader.