There’s a question I like to ask young leaders: What kind of person do you enjoy working for? In other words, who’s your ideal boss? You might be surprised at how often I get the same answer. “Someone who’s not a micromanager,” people tell me.
The truth is, none of us like working for a micromanager. We all want autonomy, the freedom to do things our way, to make and then learn from our own mistakes. Generally, we don’t do our best work when we have someone breathing down our neck.
Yet micromanagers are out there. In fact, I think many micromanagers don’t even realize that’s what they’re doing. So let me ask you? Are you a micromanager? No, you say? Are you sure?
How to Curb Micromanagement Tendencies
If you think there’s a little bit of a micromanager in you, it’s worthwhile to reform yourself today. Let me offer some practical suggestions.
- Set goals and then schedule a weekly check-in. The problem many micromanagers have is that they want to be involved in things at every step of the way—but that’s going to make your employees feel claustrophobic. Instead, set the objective; make clear your expectations; then allow your employee to work toward the objective in their own way. Do have weekly check-ins planned, just so you can maintain some oversight of the project. This is a good and reasonable balance.
- Focus on results, not the little details along the way. Again, the trick is to set the parameters and expectations, then trust your people to get things done. Let them do it their way, so long as they meet the expectations you lay out.
- Have an open-door policy. Shift some control to your team members by letting them come speak with you, offering their own honest feedback and weighing in with their ideas.
- When things go wrong, allow your employees to diagnose why; talk with them to figure out where things went off track, and listen to their suggestions about how things can be improved for next time.
- Hire people you trust. Really, a lot of it boils down to this. If you don’t trust people to do their job without micromanagement, why did you hire them in the first place?
One more way you can abandon your micromanagement tendencies is by working with a coach—and that’s something I’d love to chat with you about. Contact me today and let’s talk about executive coaching! You can contact Dr. Rick at www.rickgoodman.com or call 888-267-6098.