Psychological health

4 Mistakes Micromanagers Make and How to Help

I recently received an email from someone who attended one of my workshops – I’ll call him Steve. He wanted to talk to me about a stressful situation at work. When we phoned, Steve spoke about the excitement he felt when he started his new position several months ago. He told me that while he was preparing his desk on his first day, another colleague came to his desk and sat down. The colleague said, “You know, you won’t last more than a year here.”

A colleague explained that Steve’s new boss was a meticulous manager known for getting good talent out the door quickly. Unfortunately, his colleague was right. Steve called me for about a year into his role, exhausted and doing everything he could to find a new job.

There is often a leader who oversees the finer details lurking somewhere in my work with teams. low employee morale, shorthand In productivity, high employee turnover are all related to micromanagement behaviors. Part-managers are also in high risk to tire themselves out. Even worse, micromanagement destroys psychological integrity, making it more likely that subordinates will hide information, which can quickly turn a small problem into a crisis.

The micromanagement mindset often stems from extreme stress, a need for control, and leaders facing the opposite pressure of the wall experience (or perceive) rather than hate or intent to harm. Micro-managers convince themselves that if they give too little control, things will go wrong and they will be blamed. As such, they tend to make these Errors:

The first error: They crush independence. Micromanagement is often about control, and micromanagers like to dictate every step. Instead of co-creating a check-in schedule with their teams, they often screen people. Leaders need to give their team a clear strategic goal, but then the team members’ ideas about different ways to achieve that goal must be respected.

Second error: They are not providing any real help. Partial managers often ask a lot of questions about the business, but they don’t help team members get back on track or thoughtfully analyze problems or challenges that emerge. Leaders who work effectively with their teams also remain open to hearing alternative explanations or solutions.

Third error: They are quick to blame. Micromanagement leaders are often the first to point the finger at the outside when errors or problems arise. Then team members focus on looking good rather than starting an open and honest discussion about obstacles and living in fear that nothing will go wrong.

Mistake #4: They store information. Constantly sharing information with your team builds important psychological needs for independence and competence. In addition, it also builds thrivingA powerful blend of energy, learning, and growth, slowing fatigue. When team members have enough information to do their jobs well, it increases the likelihood that they will make sound and informed decisions. In addition, they can quickly detect problems and coordinate work, which is important for team flexibility. Broad sharing of information allows individuals to increase their understanding of how their work fits into the larger work system.

Changing behaviors associated with micromanagement can be challenging, but here are some ideas to keep in mind:

  • representative. Appropriate delegation It may be the key to correct micromanagement behavior. You should know very clearly what is the highest and best use of your time. And if you are constantly coloring outside of these lines, this should be an indication that you need to delegate more or find additional resources to help.
  • Expect the unexpected. Teams work on projects that are too complex to get them right all the time, and adaptability is critical to flexibility. Talk openly as a team about setbacks. As long as you have developed the right strategies, have good contingency plans, and people are doing their best, this is all you can expect.
  • Make expectations known. It’s not wrong to have high expectations, but make those expectations clear up front. Then, let the team figure out the specifics about how they arrived at the bottom line (micro managers often feel frustrated or underestimated that they would have done it differently).
  • Take advantage of your resources. Be clear about what success looks like and make sure you have the right resources and support to make it happen. This includes being transparent about the information the team needs to succeed.
  • Explain the reason for your participation. There are times when leaders need more involvement, such as when training new employees or increasing the productivity of underperforming team members. Tell new team members that you plan to check in early and often, but that there will be no need for long-term ongoing status updates (co-create a check-in schedule less frequently or run as needed).
  • Think about your own behavior. The leaders I coach always need to identify the deeper mindsets that fuel their micromanagement style. Icebergs (or rules) are your core values ​​about how you think the world should work, and they can act in productive or unproductive ways. Iceberg themes I often hear from detail managers are, “I always need to be responsible or things will go wrong”, “If you want it to be done right, you have to do it yourself”, or “I have to get all the answers. Once they see the link between this mindset and the effect on their team, they can increase their self-awareness and practice new behaviors.

Micromanagement is the motivating equivalent of buying on credit: you get what you want in the short term right away, but you pay a high price for it later. Effective leaders constantly look for ways to support their team rather than control it.

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