How to Avoid Micromanaging

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Three Tips to Help You Avoid Micromanaging

No one likes being micromanaged but many people report being micromanaged. So how do you, as a leader, ensure your team achieves the desired results without having to supervise every little detail?

If you’ve ever gone on a road trip with young children, you’ve likely had them ask repeatedly, “Are we there yet?” And you know as a parent that it can be really annoying. “We’ll get there when we get there!”

In the same way when you, as a leader, keep harping at your team about how they carry out their tasks, it will tend to grind away at them and fray their nerves.

Here are three tips to help you avoid micromanaging:

#1: Set clear expectations

Micromanaging occurs when you, as the leader, focus more on the ‘how’ instead of the ‘what’. By all means be really clear about the end result you are looking for and your expectations in terms of cost, time, quality and resources.

#2: Trust the team to do their job

Once you’ve been clear about your expectations you should step back and let your team do their jobs. When you scrutinize and criticize the methods too closely your team will feel that you don’t trust them. Over time the sense will be that nothing they do is good enough and they will stop thinking for themselves.

#3: Check the output, praise or correct

Some leaders think that the opposite of micromanaging is to simply let the team do whatever they want. The most effective delegators know that it is important to check on the output to ensure that expectations have been met and then, based on the results, offer positive reinforcement or provide coaching or correction so the team learns how to perform better in the future.

When you, as a leader, become more effective at clarifying what you expect, trust your team to meet those expectations and then follow up to ensure your expectations are met, you’ll see the morale and attitude of your team will improve and the results will get progressively better over time.

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