How to Stop Being a Micromanager

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Micromanagers are people who need to have control over every part of an organization or business’s activities. They work long hours and days, insist on giving approval for everything, struggle to take the necessary time off work, and want everything done their way. Sounds good and responsible right? Not exactly.

The Problem with Micromanaging

Micromanaging seriously hinders the potential and growth of an entire organization, regardless if you’re operating a digital marketing agency, restaurant, or commercial cleaning company. Why? Because employees are not afforded the chance to do their job by themselves, and this greatly impacts their self-confidence.

Top talent won’t thrive in this kind of work environment, and either resign or fail to hone their skills. Micromanaging also stifles innovation and critical thinking, which are necessary for growing, taking chances, making calculated mistakes, and learning.

Fortunately, there are effective ways to get out of the micromanaging mindset to help you foster better relationships with your team:

Take It One Day at a Time

Take baby steps, especially if you’re the type of person that really needs to be in control. This isn’t the time to quit cold turkey. Trying to change too fast might even stop you from effectively changing your micromanaging behavior.

It’s also important to keep in mind that your team might require sufficient time to trust their instincts and be confident in their outputs, particularly if you’ve been micromanaging them for a long time now.

Promote Two-way and Open Communication

Encourage your team to speak up and show them that you really do value their input by acting on their ideas—those that warrant action, that is. Beware however that much consensus might be too overwhelming, so set aside specific times for reviewing ideas.

Female writing beside her laptop

Hone Your Delegation Skills

Start to loosen your grip on your team by delegating a particular part of a project to a group or an individual. Start with small tasks until you become more comfortable with their performance. Tell them that you’ll be there for guidance, but only if they need it. Don’t be afraid to let them fail sometimes because this is how people grow from their mistakes.

Don’t Be So Obsessed with Metrics

It’s common for micromanagers to depend on and over-measure key performance metrics. But keep in mind that data is just one part of the overall equation and relying on it too much could be detrimental. So define the most crucial metrics and make sure to stick with them.

Stick to Simple Instructions

Avoid over-explaining when assigning tasks. Keep it specific but simple. When delegating tasks, minimize directions, and only give key information to help your team hone their critical thinking skills.

Consider leverage management technologies like collaboration and task management software. Think of these as camouflage. They allow you to manage your operations in the background to allow your team more room to grow.

Use these tools along with the valuable tips above to harness the good parts of the micromanager in you and adjust your habits to become an effective leader for your team.

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