The Mystery of the Micromanager
Last week’s blog, “The Mysterious Case of Disappearing Respect,” discussed how to better manage teams and projects. As with everything, there is the dark side and extremes, like the manager who micromanages teams and projects. Managers who micromanage find non-productivity from their teams as a mystery. Others feel that it’s their job to be a “helicopter” manager. Micromanaging, unfortunately, has the opposite effect of almost everything a manager wants, and needs, to achieve when working through people. Here are a few of the unnecessary headaches micromanaging brings:
- Destroys the ability to see the big picture
- Kills creativity
- Demolishes trust
- Allows stress to creep in
- Annihilates vision
- Invites conflict to rear its ugly head
Not a pretty picture. While a manager may try to slap some lipstick on this pig by saying, “On well, I’m just a control freak” that dog won’t hunt. Control has its foundation in a lack of security or confidence. So let’s take the mystery out of managing teams and their projects.
- If you feel a team or a member of the team needs micromanaging, then provide the member with training or coaching.
- Analyze the project and establish priorities. Determine what needs to be delivered when in order to meet deadlines.
Taking this step allows for pre-scheduled check in times. It also helps everyone to understand when their tasks are due. Further, if there is a need for speed, the team knows this up front and can adjust their work pace. This is a good place to keep in mind each team member’s work pace. Some members work at a slower or faster pace than others. Be cognizant of this and build in the time they need if possible. It may be necessary to assign two members to a particular task if there is an urgency to the project.
- Allow feedback from your team. After all, the team will be the ones completing the tasks. Let them have input into priorities and who takes on what tasks. Of course, you must know your team’s talents, sills, and attributes as you may have to step in on this point.
- If the project involves interaction with a client, allow input and the involvement of at least a few team members who will be working on the project.
- If you have been a micromanager, your team will not trust this new methodology right away. You will need to reassure the team that you have confidence that they can do the job. This will take patience on everyone’s part as it will take time to build trust.
Managing people and projects isn’t really mysterious, a little tricky at times, but not mysterious. Using the tools discussed in this article can help maintain the balance between productivity and non-productivity, trust and distrust, conflict and collaboration, mystery and clear vision.
Graphic Credit: BigStock.com Copyright: kenhurst