Stop Micromanaging

The habit of micromanaging is hard to forego if you have been passionately involved in building your business scratch-up. You know it so intimately and are so passionate, that you believe it can only be done with your attention and instruction.

You may have set up a team and even empowered it but the habit of micromanaging is not letting you really grow and at the same time lowering the productivity and morale of your team. It is important that you realize this knack of putting your hands and mind in the smallest of things. Here’s how I overcame this habit. It took me a while, but now I let small fires burn for others to extinguish.

The first thing to do is to stop reviewing things too often.

I got out of the habit of frequent reviews to check if all was going as planned. Each such review was a window for me to give instructions, and by doing away with such frequent reviews, I reduced the occasions to micromanage, thus giving the team to figure out things on their own. If they had a doubt, they were always welcome and as many feared I might get into other details, they found a solution on their own.

Second is to learn to trust the expertise of your team

They say no one comes learned from their mother’s womb, and the same you must expect of your team. They will learn on the job, but your trust is important for them to make mistakes. Growing the expertise of your team requires that you let them think and act independently without your intervention. Create situations where the team can act on their own. The more you trust the more you will delegate, but stopping to micromanage will raise opportunities to test their expertise and build trust.

Keep busy in other stuff

An idle mind is a devil’s workshop and so is an idle boss. Find things of more strategic importance to occupy your day and mind. Work on the bigger things and you may not have the time to micromanage. Also if you find yourself micromanaging then scold yourself for not having bigger tasks on your table.

Delegate fast

Treat tasks like hot potatoes that you need not hold in your hands. Pass it on to your team. Learn to delegate more and do it quickly before you start feeling like doing it yourself, or doubt the ability of anyone else to do it better. This works in two ways, first, it let’s you focus on the bigger tasks, and secondly, since there are so many tasks out there, you will not get the time to micromanage.

Every time I delegate I spend more time asking the right questions rather than telling what to do with the objective of explaining the WHY behind the task, it may look time-consuming in the beginning but it actually saves time in the long run and the need to micromanage reduces.

We also set the leading indicators during the lifetime of the task and set up the inspection calendar to review. Only if the leading indicators suggest that there is a huge variation than the agreed result, then only I step in otherwise I let the team continue with the tasks, this helps me manage my time and energy well and the urge to micromanage goes down.

I know it’s tough not to give your two-cents worth of advice and ensure that it’s done as well as you would have done it, but remember that a tree rises higher not just for the trunk but also for its branches. Give the branches a chance to grow, stop micromanaging.

I sure would like to hear your comments, and whether you have other thoughts on this. Do share this article with others who may benefit too.