As a manager, what your team produces is your responsibility. So how do you take responsibility for all the ins and outs without micromanaging your team? Often, habits like this start small and then grow to become a part of company culture. It can quickly grow to the point where team leaders are expected to oversee every aspect of a project from start to finish rather than trusting their team to do their jobs. When this type of mindset is infused into a business, it quickly becomes a part of training, and new managers are then set up to fail from the start. Ready to end the cycle? Read on to learn how to stop micromanaging and instead build trust within your team.
Learn to Let Go
As a leader, learning to trust your team to do their jobs as directed is essential if you want to stop micromanaging. Managers must learn and allow their team to do their job. If you want your business to be successful, the first step to ending micromanaging is to accept this fact. Here are some strategies to help you start to let go:
- Set Clear Expectations: Make sure everyone on your team understands their job and what responsibilities are included. Communicate deadlines, points that are important to you, and any nuances you expect of them. Never expect members of your team to “just know”, or to read your mind. Take responsibility as their leader for setting a clear path to lead them to success.
- Delegate: Hand out parts of the project to team members based on strengths and job positions. Communicate clearly who has what job and what that entails. When everyone understands what they are responsible for, it’s far easier to let go and know all the pieces are being taken care of.
- Establish Smaller Goals: If you’re working on a very large project, be sure to break it down into smaller goals and touchpoints. This provides clear milestones where you can check in with the team to ensure progress is being made appropriately and address any concerns if deadlines are not being reached.
- Keep the Communication: Establish a clear and effective way of communicating with your team as the project continues. Be available to support them, even if that means pointing them to resources rather than solving the problem yourself. This will also help you continue to let go as you’ll have clarity on where each team member is at any given time.
- Give Positive Feedback: As progress is made, look for opportunities to praise your team when they are taking responsibility and initiative on their own to complete their job. This is especially important if your company has a history of micromanaging and you’re looking to change that pattern.
- Keep the End in Mind: At the end of the day, stay out of the nitty gritty and focus on the big picture at hand. Remember, not everyone works the same way and there are most likely several members on your team with a mental process that is different from yours. As long as no company protocol is being breached, that is completely okay. Keep the end in mind and support your team members in getting there.
Of all of these skills, delegation is by far the most challenging for managers who are in the habit of micromanaging. Most people are not born with this skill and it must be intentionally developed and practiced by leaders if you want an effective team. Delegation is not only important to freeing up your time but also to cultivating a thriving work environment. Here are some benefits of practicing delegation:
- Empowers Your Team: Delegation supports your team members in owning and taking responsibility for their parts of the project. This ownership often results in pride for work done and adds positivity to the work environment.
- Increased Productivity: When team members feel pride in their work, they work better and faster, and often come up with new and innovative solutions that once could not be found.
- Growth: Delegation often results in team members learning and growing on their own as they take responsibility for the project and learn to work together to achieve results.
- Avoids Burnout: The reality is that you cannot do it all on your own. By delegating effectively, you avoid personal burnout.
- Encourages Collaboration: Proper delegation brings teams together and creates an environment for ideas to be shared and for team members to work effectively together.
Stopping the madness of micromanaging is not just about you as a manager avoiding burnout; at a far larger scale, it affects everyone in your workspace. When you effectively communicate, delegate, and trust your team, team members will begin to take pride in their work and learn and grow together. This creates a thriving work environment where people enjoy showing up each morning. producing results at a faster rate. Remember, being a leader does not mean it’s your place to control every piece of the work under you. Rather, being a leader means that you are responsible for creating the environment necessary for those working for you to rise up and produce their best. Stop micromanaging, and watch your business blossom.