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My skin crawls at the thought
Don’t micromanage your people.
Your first thought may be: “I don’t micromanage. I give them the supervision they need.”
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If so, great! But some people micromanage without even knowing they are doing it.
Do you get a “I wonder where they are with that?” feeling and just swing by their desk to ask them a bunch of questions about it?
Do you see how they are doing a project and, even though they don’t seem to be having any problems with it, stop them to explain how to do it the “right” way?
Do you give overly-elaborate instructions for even simple tasks?
Do you feel defensive after reading at least one of these points?
Here’s the thing: if we care about our work (and I hope we all do), we want it done right. We want to make sure that our people are doing it right. But micromanaging makes our people feel disrespected and demotivated, so we need to find other ways to ensure quality.
Delegate to a team member and give them a checklist of all the things you will check when they return the draft to you. Have them walk you through the checklist when they are done. It’s a great structure for giving them positive reinforcement for every success, and a clear way to identify anything that needs revision before they bring it back to you again.
Delegate a complex task and ask the person to come up with an “action plan” for how they will do the project, including the number of hours and the resources they expect to need, and run it by you by the end of the day. Confirm they are set up for success before they start.
Schedule regular check-ins for ongoing projects, so that you stay in-the-loop, and your people have opportunities for asking questions or troubleshooting. That way, you don’t make the person feel like you don’t trust their competence by randomly interrupting their work and questioning them about what they are doing.
(image source: https://fairygodboss.com/career-topics/good-boss-meme)
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