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Managing Without Micromanaging: 5 Strategies

Micromanaging is the act of maintaining too much control over the way others perform tasks assigned to them, and unfortunately, it’s an issue many management professionals struggle with. This behavior, despite coming from a place of concern, can be incredibly disruptive to others, as it tends to suffocate innovation and self-direction.

In addition, micromanaging expresses the idea that managers don’t trust or believe in the members of their team to complete the task at hand.

To avoid negatively affecting your team, your workplace relationships, and the company overall, you must overcome micromanaging habits.

If you are aware that you micromanage your employees, you are likely searching for steps you can take in order to stop being a “helicopter boss.” The fact that you are seeking out ways to improve is a crucial step in the right direction as it means that you know a problem exists and you want to correct it.

Try these five tips if you want to reduce the urge to micromanage.

Create the Right Team

Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the employees you manage and foster strong collaboration. This way, you’re more equipped to make the right choices when assigning tasks to specific individuals. Create teams of employees whose strengths apply to the task at hand and make sure those teams work to help the individual members overcome any weaknesses that might become a concern.

When you trust in the abilities of your team, you’ll be more equipped to let go and allow them to work without your constant supervision.

Delegate Tasks Effectively

Your employees know how to perform at work, otherwise they wouldn’t be your employees. When delegating work-related tasks, focus on the outcome you expect instead of the process of the task itself. Providing employees with step-by-step instructions to complete tasks they’re already familiar with wastes time and may very well disrupt their unique work processes. Provide them with the instructions you know they’ll need, but let them take the helm afterward.

Make Your Expectations Clear

There’s a fine line between providing too much information and too little information when it comes to delegating tasks. You want to make your expectations clear and let your employees know what you need them to do without making your instructions seem patronizing.

For example, if you assign one of your teams a project to complete together, you might choose to provide the team leader with an outline that covers the essential elements of the task at hand. This way, the team can fill in the blanks on their own, but they know what the results of the work should accomplish.

Don’t Be a Perfectionist

Having high standards is one thing, but if you’re assigning a task to one team member or an entire group, it’s important to remember that these people are not you. You might be dedicated to perfection in every aspect of your role, but your team members are their own people. Of course, they care about completing high-quality work, but their ideas of perfection likely won’t be the same as yours.

When assigning tasks, remind yourself that the team is going to handle the process as they see fit. They’re going to do their best, and it’s okay if their best doesn’t align with every detail that strikes you as “perfect.”

Welcome Employee Feedback

Finally, remain open to employee feedback without becoming defensive or upset when an individual provides you with constructive criticism. You want to perform your best work, and in order to do that effectively, being open to feedback is essential. Listening to what your team has to say and validating their thoughts and concerns will make you a better leader, even if some of the statements made temporarily bruise your ego.

Remember, if you didn’t have what it takes to be an effective leader, you wouldn’t be in the leadership position you’re currently in. You’re doing great, and your team has likely learned a lot from your training and guidance efforts. It’s okay to step back and let the professionals you employ complete work-related tasks on their own. The fact that you’ve provided them with the best advice you have is exactly why you’re allowed to let go of micromanaging. You’ve already done an incredible job, and as such, disaster won’t strike if you release the reins a bit.

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