As a leader, you do have to engage in a little extra oversight sometimes — perhaps on a high-stakes project or when one of your people is new or taking on something unfamiliar. But oversight that’s based on your anxiety and not your team members’ performance is micromanagement. Figuring out why you micromanage holds the key to letting go.
Are You A Micromanager?
You’re micromanaging when a presentation is ready to go and you start tweaking fonts at the last minute. You’re micromanaging when you tell one of your team members how to execute an assignment before she can develop her own plan. And you’re definitely micromanaging if you constantly send reminders or ask for updates when there’s no reason to doubt a team member’s reliability.
Why Are You Compelled to Micromanage?
Micromanagement stifles your team’s creativity. Your people feel untrusted, undervalued and resentful. It burns them out fast — especially your achievers and high potentials. And it burns you out as well. Micromanagement isn’t fun, or effective, for anyone involved, and it certainly doesn’t benefit the organization. Try to figure out where this need to micromanage comes from. Asking yourself these questions will pinpoint underlying issues and uncover potential solutions.
Does your team truly understand what you need to do?
Could communicating your goals and articulating the outcomes more thoroughly help you step back and let your people work more independently?
Are you missing key positions or resources, which compromises your team’s potential success?
Understanding exactly what your missing can help you recognize your resulting anxiety. It can also spur you to action – to make the business case to outsource or hire additional resources.
Are you a control freak?
This is the hard one. If your answer is yes, ask yourself whether micromanaging is actually helping your cause. Leadership is often shown through actions, and those actions are based on philosophies and belief systems. It’s important to really question those philosophies. This will not only make you a better leader but also help you as you develop your people into leaders.
Can you find ways to let go a bit and make room for others’ to step out this week? Yes, you’ll lose some control, but you’ll gain a workplace with more trust, ease and creativity.
Interested in having someone come in and help you and your team successfully navigate changes in leadership, company culture, and foster better collaboration? We can help!