Take the Micro Out of Managing

Posted July 22, 2013

Is micromanagement the bane of your existence? You know what I'm talking about—that overbearing, in-the-minutia manager that makes you dread coming to work each day. We've all had at least one in our careers. You may have one on your team now or, even worse, be one yourself.

Of course, micromanagement is no laughing matter. It can have a huge long- and short-term negative impact on your ability to achieve or exceed your company's goals. So how can you nip it in the bud and get back to getting results?

3 Steps to Stamp Out Micromanagement

1. Uncover the why

Perhaps you have a new team that you don't know well, or in which you haven't yet established trust and confidence. Do you have folks who don't carry through, or miss deadlines? Identifying the "why" will help you address the root cause for the micromanagement and take action to help address feelings of distrust, lack of confidence or other issues you identify.

2. Hold 'em accountable

If you want your team be accountable, then make sure they've got SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-sensitive), realistic goals. If you don't hold your people accountable, they might not know they aren't meeting your expectations. You may even consider incorporating 360-degree feedback into the review process with various business partners providing feedback to their managers. It can be scary, but you and your team will learn a ton and thus become better as a result.

3. Let employees chart the course

You may want things done a certain way. I get it, but if you tell your team exactly what you want, how you want it and when you want it, you do most of the work for them—and you relegate them to simply executing orders. Unless your employees don't enjoy thinking very much, they won't be satisfied for long.

Knowing when to step back and give your team members the space they need to explore a problem, brainstorm, come up with solutions and execute on them is at the very core of every good manager. When I'm in a meeting and a decision needs to be made, many times the team will look at me and ask what I think. A lot of times I turn it around on them and say, "What do you guys think?" This way they know they have a say.

Letting your employees become part of the journey can pay off big-time. Not only will they feel more valued, but you may end up with a better end product because you'll have more people generating ideas and solutions.

How have you dealt with micromanagement in your organization? Chime in below in the comments.

Janine Popick is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse, a provider of self-service email, social and event marketing solutions for small businesses. Connect with her on Twitter at @janinepopick.

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