Most managers want to do a good job. They don’t turn up to work and deliberately try to frustrate or demotivate. But that is what they end up doing when they micromanage their staff, and most don’t even realise they are doing it.
However the good news is that there are some tell-tale signs that you micromanage and the following checklist that will help you to assess your own approach.
1. You are rarely satisfied with what your team delivers.
2. You get frustrated when you would have done something differently to one of your team.
3. You focus in on details and take pride in making corrections.
4. You always want to be kept in the loop and expect to be Cc’d on emails.
5. You provide detailed instructions and checklists about how you expect work to be carried out.
Clearly you need to make sure work gets done, but you don’t have to drill down into the details all the time as this only serves to frustrate and demotivate and will impact on your team’s productivity.
To stop micromanaging, start letting go of the minutiae. This can be difficult but the key is to do it a little at a time. Explain what you want the final outcome to be, but don’t give detailed instructions on how someone should do it. Focus on setting people up for success. Provide resources and support, and give credit where it’s due. After all you would not tell the builder you have just employed to build your extension how to mix the cement would you?