Micromanage and Be Ineffective

As soon as you assign a project to someone to lead or perform, it seems as if you’re back asking questions on the progress and telling them what to do next. Sound familiar? Now put the shoe on the other foot and imagine someone is trying to micromanage you. How does this make you feel? Do you feel like they think your abilities are inadequate?

Employees Have to Develop

If you have ever watched young birds when they first try to leave the nest you can get a picture of what should be happening. A mother bird allows her young to try to fly even though she knows there will be some mishaps. Similarly, a wise manager must allow employees the space to develop their skills, knowing full well that there will be mistakes. But mistakes are one of the primary ways we learn.

“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.” – John Wooden, Retired UCLA basketball coach.

Reread that quote because it is amazingly true. None of us are perfect, and that means if we are alive and doing something, eventually we will make mistakes; probably more than we like to admit. That is just life.

The Manager’s Role

If you have assigned a project it is important to allow your employees to make mistakes. Of course, this must be within limits. You primarily need a way to periodically be updated on the status of a project. Even then, your urge may be to step in and immediately make things right. But wait just a minute. Who says your way is right or even the best way? Your employees just may surprise you by actually doing something in a much better manner than you would have chosen..

The important thing is to not let your fear and/or pride get in the way. If you do and resort to micromanaging you will eventually frustrate your employees to the point that they are afraid to act. The end result is often that you end up losing some of your best people.

Personal Experience

When I first supervised people it was difficult not to micromanage. As a result much of my efforts were ineffective. Even worse I sometimes found myself doing what I had assigned to others. Let’s just say that was my punishment for not always allowing others have the freedom to do their job! Eventually this began to weigh on me. I recognized the problem and consciously made the decision to let go and just deal with any anxiety it might cause me. Amazingly, it was not long before I started to enjoy the new found freedom that I had as a result of giving others the freedom they needed. My original intent was to give others the freedom to do their work without excessive intervention on my part, but the surprise was that I also had a new sense of freedom from having to be responsible for every decision and action.

What about you and your company? Is micromanaging an issue that makes people ineffective?

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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