Five Ways to Avoid Micromanaging

Micromanaging does your team members more harm than good. Your team can’t work independently when you’re watching their every move. Micromanaging also decreases morale and makes teammates not want to come to work or be productive. Here are five ways to avoid micromanaging, and become a more important and well-liked leader in the process.

  1. Delegate

Train your team members to handle the tasks you delegate. Figure out what work you absolutely have to complete yourself and what work is less pressing. Then, determine the time and skills necessary to complete the work you’re delegating. Discuss with your team what your priorities are, including which tasks add the most value and require the most time and attention. Assign the work to appropriate team members. Let your team know which tasks they’ll need your guidance and approval on, how much detail they should include in their status updates, and how often you’d like to be kept in the loop about their progress.

  1. Build Trust

Cultivate trust with your teammates by letting them lead projects and make decisions. When you first start doing so, check in with your team early and often. When they reach your desired level of competence, pull back to show you believe in their abilities. Set regular times for your team to check in and let you know how the project is going. If you don’t get the desired outcomes, let your team figure out how to arrive at the results you want. If they need help, step in at a reasonable point.

  1. Encourage Independent Work

Let your teammates work independently. They can’t get much done if you’re constantly asking what they’ve completed and when they’ll have the rest finished. Provide clear guidance and a check-in schedule upfront, then let your team go to work. Allow them to make and manage their own mistakes as much as possible, so they build their problem-solving and leadership skills. As they complete their work, focus on organizational objectives that have a stronger impact on the bottom line.

  1. Provide Support When Needed

Ensure you provide your team members support when needed. Although you want them to work as independently as possible, they’ll need your guidance at various times. Make yourself available to help solve problems and provide additional resources without becoming deeply involved in a project. Also, if the project is high stakes, request more regular check-ins with your teammates to ensure the work is being properly completed.

  1. Gain Feedback

Ask your team for feedback on your management style. Find out how you can best help each member complete their work, which may include doing things differently than you prefer. Also, ask whether your overall goals are clear and each teammate has the support and resources needed to accomplish them. In addition, request your colleagues discreetly monitor how well your team is completing their work. For example, ask your colleagues how a project is going and whether your team appears to need help. Take action accordingly.

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