Managing a team is not an easy task, and like all employees, managers have failings too! If you are looking into improving your management style and have done much research you will find that micro-managing is one of the common pitfalls that haunts leaders. It often starts with good intentions. Some may even say they are being a “hands-on” manager, which carries with it a much more positive connotation. The line between the two can be easily blurred, so we have included a few test questions to ask yourself to see if you have started down the micro-management path.
1. Are you afraid to delegate because you know that nothing will be done correctly? This is a sign of holding on to too much control. Many times a micro-manager believes they are the only person who knows how to do the project correctly. If this is the case, then perhaps some training is in order or just setting out clear expectations. Relinquish a little of your control by letting others take the parts they’ve been hired to do. Make sure they understand the expectations, literally spell them out, if you can. This allows them to complete their part of the task, and if corrections do need to be made to their work, it will allow you to train them for next time.
2. When you delegate, do you make sure you only part out the smallest least meaningful assignments? Certainly you can control the project this way, but it is unlikely that your team has much job satisfaction when given these types of tasks. Make time to report progress, so that you can see if any adjustments need to be made, but don’t take on all the heavy lifting!
3. Do you make decisions unilaterally? Hopefully you have hired people who add to the organization. Don’t be afraid to ask for their input. You can set up acceptable parameters, so they don’t stretch the limits too much, but allowing others to make suggestions will broaden the perspective and allow for new ideas, it will also encourage a feeling of collaboration.
4. Does everyone’s work get subjected to the “fine tooth comb” treatment before it is accepted? There are some employees who may need this type of monitoring in order to make sure their work is correct, but allow employees to prove themselves as well. If you have someone who is performing well give them some encouragement by asking them if there is anything that needs to be double checked before finalization, then they can let you know of any areas they weren’t as confident with.
These are just a few ways to adjust your management style to help yourself and your team to work together more efficiently. If you are wondering if you are a micro-manager, there is one sure way to tell…ask an honest employee!