STOP! It’s time to stop micromanaging your team and their tasks. Micromanaging both hurts your relationship with staff as well as wastes your valuable time that could be spent elsewhere.
If you want to really develop your business and spend time doing things that matter, it’s time to shift our focus and our attitude. I will share practical tips to assist you in letting things go, trusting the process, and avoiding micromanaging.
Let’s get a definition of micromanagement. This comes from Investopedia;
Micromanaging is when someone in leadership “…gives excessive supervision to employees. A micromanager, rather than telling an employee what task needs to be accomplished and by when—will watch the employee’s actions closely and provide frequent criticism of the employee’s work and processes.”
Micromanaging may provide a boost to results and productivity initially, but over time your presence will become overbearing. People will get sick of their lack of independence; this might lead to damaged relations or even loss of staff.
Micromanagement is also, frankly, a waste of your time. You will never have enough time to make visionary decisions for the company if you are busy minding everyone else’s work.
Have you ever felt that you had no independence at work? Your boss was always check in on you and breathing down your neck?
Or, do you see some of these characteristics reflected in yourself?
No worries! Here are some practical tips to calm your inner micromanager and work towards better productivity…
Control is all about Trust
One of the main reasons I see people becoming micromanagers is there is a lack of trust.
Whether it be a lack of trust in their employees skills, ability, or level of responsibility. There is something in there where the boss does not trust their subordinates.
Now, while they may be your subordinates. Your team and staff are also experts in their own right, with bright ideas and their own ingenuity.
The whole point of hiring a team to do tasks for you, is for them to do it. Not for you to still do it.
Your assistant might sign off on a certain email, but if you were watching them the whole time and criticizing them as they went; you were pretty much doing all the effort.
It is a sign of a strong leader that they can recognize the strength in others, and they know when to pull back. Great leaders do not do everything on their own, they delegate.
Delegation is something that we all understand needs to happen. But a lot of us don’t understand what it actually entails. Delegation means giving a task to someone, and trusting in them enough that they will come back with results that you and they are both happy with.
You need to give your staff opportunities (plural) to prove themselves as capable.
If you are not willing to do this, and to trust others to work independently, you will struggle building relations with your team as well as building a successful business.
Perfectionism is a curse
The need and drive to be perfect is something that I believe a lot of us can understand. However unless you know how to control this need, it can be more of a curse than a blessing.
While we expect our leaders to be exemplary in their field, perfectionism can also be a hinderance to good leadership.
I see perfectionism as a leading cause and driving force behind bosses and managers who are micromanagers.
If you want everything to be perfect all the time, “just the way you like it”, you will find yourself micromanaging your staff.
What are bosses who micromanage every element of their staff’s work really aiming for, in the end?
They want to make sure everything that gets done is perfect. It needs to be completed according to their high standards, and can’t be done in any other way.
You might find that doing this for a few days helps your staff set up a good work ethic or align their values with your own.
However, most offices and teams begin to quickly crumple after only a short period of micromanaging.
Why is this? Because staff are not feeling valued as skilled and intelligent professionals within their own right.
They are not being given the chances to express themselves nor learn and develop their own skills. Sooner or later, they’ll find somewhere else that will give them this chance.
If you would like to read more about perfectionism and how it is strongly connected to our fears, check this article out!
Ultimately, micromanaging is waste of your time and theirs. Your staff will spend more time trying to make you happy than getting work done. And what things could you be doing instead of hovering of your team all day?
You know you can be doing bigger things right?
You do realise this, right?
If you are a writer you want to do more writing. Coaches want to do more coaching. And craft retailers want to sell more crafts.
Furthermore, these are the things that actually push your business forward too.
While you do need to get your head around social media marketing, it’s a bit pointless if you are also not working on the actual products that need to be sold. Your marketing needs to lead to something, in the end.
If you can afford to hire out a virtual assistant, graphic designer, or other expert, don’t get lost in the weeds. That is to say, let them take care of the daily, menial tasks.
These tasks help the wheels of your business keep turning, but they are not the fuel that your business needs to keep running long term.
You have to start thinking about what that next step in your business plan is;
Will you launch a new product for the latest season?
Isn’t it time you started writing that book?
How will you plan for long term success for your business?
These are just some thoughts questions you could be asking yourself, rather than constantly micromanaging your staff to “see how they’re going”.
If you needed more of a reason to focus on developing your leadership skills, rather than micromanaging others, check out my article here.
To really develop both as a person and as business we need to actually give ourselves the time to think, ponder, and develop strategies. And what the best use of our time is, leads right into our next point…
The relationship between micromanaging, overthinking, and decluttering
Micromanaging is strongly related to overthinking. Thinking in an unhealthy manner can have us going over the same problems over and over again.
Rather than trusting our team members to get the job done, we might try and think of a new solution. Or see if there was something they missed. But all we really needed to do was trust the process and wait for a result.
Unfortunately, I find that many women who enter business end up becoming micromanagers. Why? We have a natural tendency to multitask, and try to juggle multiple projects all at one time.
Combine this with overthinking and our minds are usually running so fast and in so many different directions.
If we want to have multiple projects running at the same time, we cannot also be checking on each of them every 5 minutes.
We need to learn when to give these projects to someone else and trust that, with the right training, they will do even better than we could ever do.
It is difficult and scary to be alone with your thoughts sometimes. But the less time we spend trying to manage everyone the more time we will have to reflect and internalize.
This helps us stay grounded and connected with reality.
Taking this time to mentally declutter and solve the issues we have going on in our heads is beneficial for multiple reasons.
If we are stuck in our businesses, we are often stuck somewhere else in our lives. Taking the time to sort out our work-life balance will then help in our business lives too.
When we spend less time micromanaging others we can spend that extra time on ourselves. It can be a good time to learn about yourself more and how you function at your best. Again, taking this time to work on inner aspects of yourself not only helps you but will eventually come back to help your business too!
If you want your business to go far, stop micromanaging
If you feel like you cannot give control 100% to your team and staff, then that’s ok. You can come back to this concept when you are ready.
However if you want;
Your team to grow even larger,
to foster a positive environment in your workplace,
less stress in your life
to start thinking about the future and the bigger picture and
to ultimately make more money
Then it’s about time for a change. Follow the advice in this post and start working to become a better boss and stop micromanaging.
Do you want your staff to be more independent and capable? Is it time to become a more dynamic and responsible leader?
Dr Raja Yasmin is the founder of the EQBIZ Academy. She has both real life experience running businesses as well as 20 years of teaching experience. Now Dr Raja Yasmin is ready to help women become empowered through business. If you would like to receive a free marketing resource for your business, sign up here.