One of the most common struggles a new leader faces is learning to delegate and let go of the “little things.” While you may feel like you need constant oversight into your team’s work, micromanaging employees damages morale and drives away your top performers. It also prevents your team from doing truly creative or innovative work.
Part of solving this problem requires establishing healthy communication routines with your team members or leads. The rest comes down to gaining—and keeping—their trust. To help you break any micromanagement tendencies, we asked members of YEC Next this question:
Q. What is one way to encourage leaders to stop micromanaging?
1. Focus on better communication
Micromanagers worry that if they let things proceed with just a little less control on their part, the team won’t get it done. The necessary trust can be formed by encouraging better communication between leaders and their teams. If employees freely communicate and share their progress, managers can feel more secure knowing that work is getting done without their micromanagement. —Michael Miglio, ICO Law Group
2. Prioritize time for yourself
Time is a limited resource and you only have so much of it in a day. You can do more if you create more time for yourself. If you micromanage your team, they will always need you for everything and you will never have time. However, empowering your team and working through them will help them to learn and grow. It may take a year or two, but if the team has the desire, they will come to you less. —Shawn Byrne, My Biz Niche
3. Force your team to come up with their own solutions
It’s hard to let go of your “baby” but it has to be done. You have to trust your team that they will care as much as you do, and put in the same effort you would on a given task or project. It may not always happen, but it’s a learning experience that both parties can benefit from. If you force people to come up with their own solutions, by design you’ll be forced to micromanage less. —Matthew Gibson, Flewid Inc.
4. Encourage people to manage up
Leaders often micromanage because they lack sufficient knowledge about the project. Have employees ask their manager if they have a preferred method for being informed and then apply that preferred method to keep the communications channels open. For example, providing managers with a weekly update report could be all it takes to help them feel more confident that team members are on task and will meet the requirements. —Reb Risty, REBL Marketing
5. Focus on ‘firing yourself’
Whether you are the leader yourself or have a team of managers, getting leaders to focus on “firing themselves” is critical. Leading from this perspective means you’re doing your job right, coaching and empowering employees to succeed. Operating from a leadership position that trains and coaches your team to function without you is literally the opposite of micromanagement and hence prevents such behavior. —Jason Keyz, Keyz Group, Inc
6. Remind yourself that micromanaging isn’t good leadership
When leaders get the notion that they aren’t being good leaders when they micromanage, they tend to back off a little. Once a person in a leadership role steps back and can see their employees being successful, they will realize that it isn’t necessary to micromanage them 100 percent of the time. People with a tendency to micromanage will lose employees faster. —Ajmal Saleem, Suprex Learning