How to Stop Micromanaging

My last post laid out the clues to help you identify if you are micromanaging your team. If that post had you a little concerned, this post will get you straightened out. Here are some effective ways to stop micromanaging and become a better team leader.

Pinpoint the Insecurity

So many instances of micromanagement are directly related to insecurity. You may be insecure about your ability to manage, or your team members’ ability to get the job done. But the insecurity comes, first, from you and can cause a snowball effect that can be difficult to recover from.

Take a hard look at yourself and try to determine if insecurity is causing you to overcompensate by being super hands-on. Then, look at your team members’ skills and experience, the work to be completed and the communication that needs to take place. Where is the biggest disconnect? What has you the most worried and is making you feel like you need to watch closely every step of the way?

Hire the Right People

If insecurity is plaguing you, a solution could be building a better team. If you start out with team members you are not completely confident in, you are already on the path to a micromanagement disaster. Before bringing members onto your team, analyze their background, your current needs and the team dynamic to ensure he or she is a good fit.

If you can’t trust and respect your team members, they will not feel empowered to excel and you will continue to question their work.

Embrace Non-Perfection

Delegation is a tricky thing. You need to document what you want accomplished and transfer the knowledge needed to get it done. But one element of delegation that is often underestimated is the ability to let go. Effective delegators accept that when they hand off the work, it may be done differently than they would complete it themselves. And they are okay with that.

No two people do things identically, and you need to decide what’s more important to you: having the work completed to “perfection” (the way you would do it), or having it completely successfully in a different way.

Set the Range of “Acceptable”

Giving up your ability to control the process and the output doesn’t mean you have to accept sub-par work. Part of the process of avoiding micromanagement is identifying what is acceptable to you in terms of turnaround time, human error and overall results. Assign the work and if it comes back in the range you identified as “good,” then you will feel more comfortable stepping back and letting go.

Get Social

Micromanagement can be exacerbated in overly hierarchical situations. One way to remove the sense of superior/subordinate is by adopting a more lateral approach to management. This can be accomplished by taking a genuine interest in your team members, their development and the ideas they bring to the table.

You can further reduce the urge to micromanage by ramping up the team environment and allowing everyone to contribute.

Are you a recovering micromanager? What has helped you get rid of the need to control?

Image credit: inder6580

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