How to lead a team without micro managing

How to lead a team without micro managing

Perfectionists are often good at their own job. But the moment they start micro managing others, productivity and quality decreases. Find out why the best leaders learn to delegate rather than micro manage.

The problem of micro managing

Micro managing is extremely damaging to your operations.

If you don't trust your team with your idea, you can't move forward. It's a sign of strength rather than weakness that you trust them. It means you're great at clarifying what it is you want and can get results simply through effective communication. 

What results from micro managing? It limits the true potential of your employees and thus the success of your team. Speaking to the Harvard Business Review, Jennifer Chatman of UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business says "There may be a few failures as your team learns to step up, but ultimately they will perform much, much better with greater accountability and less interference."

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If you're a perfectionist, you have to keep your urge to control everything in check. It may be uncomfortable, but the best leaders know that some mistakes will be made in the process of teaching people new skills. But it's ultimately worth it, as allowing people do it themselves and their own way can be much more efficient. You identify people's strengths and give them tasks that you trust they will do well. 

Not only does micro managing limit your employees' true abilities, it also limits your abilities as a leader. Karen Dillon, author of the Harvard Business Review Guide to Office Politics, says that it encumbers your ability to concentrate on your most important tasks. The more you pile on your plate, the lower quality work you produce.

So, really, micro managing doesn't solve anything. It makes for a distrustful and inefficient culture throughout the whole organisation.

The need for teaching delegation

It is better to tell employees what to do rather than exactly how to do it.

 Effective management training is lacking because the ability to delegate tasks without interfering is one of the worst taught skills. One study done by Pankag Ghemawat, an Indian economist, global strategist, speaker and contributing author to McKinsey and Co., found that only 30 per cent of US companies admit that their leadership skills have lost them international business opportunities. 

McKinsey and Co. points out that one leadership skill that is particularly needed is delegation in the workplace. As it is, not enough companies are focusing on teaching how to delegate in a hands off way. In fact, many leaders have had to learn the hard way that it is better to tell employees what to do rather than exactly how to do it.

Take for instance, a case study cited in Harvard Business Review in which a former employee of a political campaign, Chloe Drew, went on to join a non-profit. Political campaigns, she says, were a lot more about doing everything on your own. However, she had to unlearn that perfectionist mentality of total control and came to be thankful for having others she can rely on. Now, she only hires people that will take ownership of the job and not be so reliant on her.

Teach people how to do tasks on their own so you can focus on your task: leading. x 0 0 0 14093940 800Teach people how to do tasks on their own so you can focus on your task: leading.

For one thing, leaders get sick or need to be replaced eventually. This is why Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Jeffrey Pleffer and author of "What Were They Thinking?: Unconventional Wisdom about Management," told Harvard Business Review that "your most important task as a leader is to teach people how to think and ask the right questions so that the world doesn't go to hell if you take a day off."

For the present and future functioning of your business, learning the skill of a delegation is a must. Learn how to appoint tasks to team members and effectively lead in Line Management Institute of Training's Certificate IV in Leadership and Management.

Published by: LMIT