You are Micromanaging. How can you stop it?
Have you had an awkward conversation with your boss or one of your team members? The feedback you received was that you are micromanaging?
Did it feel like a punch to the gut? Did it make you angry? Are you confused by the statements made, because all you were trying to do is be the best boss you can be?
Stop. Don’t worry. There are some easy steps you can take to change the way you work and drive your team to deliver results.
Look at your behaviour
How have you been behaving? Are you always criticising peoples work? Do you feel that you need to know what each of them is doing at any time? Do you keep changing the priorities of the work they have to do? Do you only give them one task at a time to complete, then they need to come back to you for the next task? Do you give them work to do, then go and do it yourself anyway?
Use this opportunity to have a look at yourself. If you have a trusted mentor you can approach it is a good time to contact them. If you do not have a mentor then now is a good time to find one.
Is there anything in the feedback that resonated with you?
Did you think “when I was in their position I hated it when the boss did this?” Things that resonate with us are usually easy to change.
Decide what you are going to do differently.
Now write it down and put it somewhere that you can see it.
Make sure you read it every day, as you start work.
Keeping in the front of your mind makes it easier to do.
Was there something in the feedback that made you feel uncomfortable?
Did you feel uncomfortable about something? This generally means that the feedback was close to the mark. Take some time to think about what was making you feel uncomfortable. Try to dig deep into it.
Think of what made you feel uncomfortable.
Now concentrate on how it makes you feel. Ask yourself why it makes you feel this way.
Now you are going to dive deeper. For each answer that you give yourself you then ask why it is so. Keep asking these whys until you get to the point that you can go no further. This is the underlying cause of that particular aspect of your behaviour.
Once you have the root cause you can then write down an action plan. Like the previous stage put it somewhere that you will be sure to see it every day.
It is a good idea to use a mentor for this step. They can drive the questioning to dig down deep into the causes. It is important they are not putting words in your mouth. You need to challenge your responses and understanding.
Look at your Team
Are you micromanaging the whole team, or is it certain individuals?
If it is the whole team, why do you feel the need to micromanage them? Do you need to look at the make up and dynamics of the team? Are there any leaders within the team? Are they all similar personality types? Are they all very new and unsure of themselves?
If it is individuals, ask yourself why are they making you feel the way you do. Are they new recruits with little experience? Is it a personality conflict between you and them? Do they seem to be pushing the boundaries and making you uncomfortable?
As you did with your behaviour, you are trying to dig deeper into why you feel you need to micromanage. You want to get to the root cause, so you can then put in place a plan to fix it.
Once you have a plan write it down and put it somewhere that you will see every day.
Why not share your plan with your team. Engage them in the process. Make them feel you are all empowered and accountable for fixing the root causes.
Improve use of Accountability and Delegation
This step can drive major a change in the way your team operates.
Does your team, and yourself, understand how to delegate and hold accountability? It is likely that one, or more, of you don’t.
Here is where reading my posts on Accountability and Delegation can add value to the team.
The key here is to stop focusing on how work is done and start focusing on delivering business outcomes.
Again, a mentor can also be of value here, to help you make changes to delegation and accountability.
As with the previous steps, decide what you want to do. Make a plan. Put it somewhere that you will see every day.
This is the step that causes issues for a lot of people, including myself. We often are perfectionists. We keep going and going until we achieve the perfect product. We also expect this of our team members and get frustrated when it is not achieved.
You need to change your mindset. Write this down “Not perfect but good enough for now.” Put this somewhere that you will see it every day.
As it says we should be aiming for something that achieves the business goal. It won’t be perfect. Nothing ever is. You’ll never achieve anything if perfection is your goal.
For more information on perfectionism please check out this post.
You’ve had the awkward discussion. You came out of it shaken and rattled. You’ve decided that something needs to change.
You’ve taken a hard look at your behaviour.
You’ve taken a hard look at the behaviour of your team.
You’ve implemented more structured delegation and accountability.
You’re focusing on delivering business results rather than on how they are done.
You’ve stopped focusing on perfection. You’re now aiming for “good enough for now.”
You’ve got a plan. You’re reviewing the plan every day. Your team is part of the plan.
Your results are improving. Your team is now thriving. You’ve come out the far end of the micromanaging tunnel stronger and more In Control.
If you need a mentor then contact Next Actions, firstname.lastname@example.org, for details on how we can help you.
For information on how Next Actions can help your business, please complete the enquiry form below.
Also published on Medium.