By Ryan Taft
“Micromanaging is one of the best management styles in existence,”…said no employee ever.
If you are a manager reading this you need to ask yourself a question:
Do I trust my team?
Here’s how you know the answer…if you ask them to do it and then give them step-by-step instructions of what to do and are constantly checking (a.k.a. “nagging”) to see if it was done, and how it was done, then odds are that you are a micromanager.
Why do managers follow this management style even though they themselves probably don’t like being micromanaged? Without getting too psychological, it has to do with a lack of trust paired with the need to control.
“I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way.” – Lee Lacocca
A very competent assistant to a Vice President of Sales once complained to me that he couldn’t even send a simple memo to the sales team without the VP going through each memo with a red pen and making corrections.
A sales professional I know shared with me that she would get phone calls from her manager every ten minutes while she was writing a contract to sell a home. I asked what the calls were for. Her response: “Because apparently I’m an idiot and don’t know how to write a contract…despite my 13 years experience.”
Here are three negative consequences of micromanaging your staff.
Rarely do I run across individuals who enjoy being micromanaged. That is as true in the workplace as it is in your personal relationships. Married anyone? As I stated in the example above, micromanaging causes people to shift into a resentment mindset. Internal thoughts, such as, “Does he think I am an idiot?” or, “Doesn’t my manager have anything better to do?” start to emerge. Resentment then leads to #2…
2. A Culture of Distrust
The leader sets the tone for the entire department. When you micromanage, you are sending the message, “I don’t trust you.” If you don’t trust your employee, they won’t trust you. Seems fair.
This will permeate throughout the organization and is often a direct link to:
- Missing sales goals
- High turnover
- In-company feuding
- Low profits
3. More Work For You
If you are a micromanager your biggest enemy is you. Just about every micromanager I have ever met believes he or she can do it better. So what happens? They end up doing everything themselves or correcting how someone else did it.
In his book, Getting Things Done by David Allen, he teaches the four “D’s”.
- Do it
- Delete it
- Delegate it
- Delay it
When referring to Delegating it, one of the core messages is allow people who may not be as good as you are to do things for you…even if they aren’t as good as you. (I hope you caught that.)
Today’s employee desires independence. Just look at the trends of people working from home. I challenge you to start empowering your team to reach their potential through trusting them. When you do that, it’s amazing how far your organization will go.
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