Micromanagement, what is it?
“Just leave it, I’ll do it”, sigh.
Is micro-management the fault of the staff member who “just doesn’t get things done” or the manager who “doesn’t delegate, give clear direction or empower their staff”? An interesting situation and very common but the question of communication is rarely raised, just fingers pointed and frustration aired.
How do you improve the situation?
Listen to the problem, assess the ability of the team, clarify the project parameters and confirm accountability, then ensure clear, consistent management. Plan milestones with your team and show as much professionalism in preparing for them as you expect in return. It sounds relatively easy but can be very challenging in a high pressure environment. The automatic response can be to diminish the authority of individuals or to disassociate from the team and “let them flounder” before swooping in to pick up the pieces.
Delegation and clear directive management are two common issues in SMEs and can be addressed with objectivity and planning. If you see the above happening, stop, call the team together and ensure every person knows where their job starts and the next person’s begins. Ask questions and then listen before working on the problem together. You may need to hold your breath (the 30 second rule) but a solution will come if you have the right people. Working with and leading a team successfully is one of the reasons many people manage and run a business. It is exciting to see a completed project and individuals becoming more empowered by their achievements, and you have the added bonus of realising a succession plan….