Micromanagement – are you guilty?

It’s an awful word. Micromanagement. We’ve all experienced it whether it be in volunteering your time, or as you climb the corporate ladder. And chances are, we’ve all been guilty of it as well.

According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, the act of management is defined as, “the conducting or supervising of something,” whereas, the same resource defines micromanagement as “management with excessive control or attention on details.”

But, attention to detail is what brought you to the management level you needed in your career path, right? Well, here is a tip – the skills you brought to the table and success you attained to reach the management level are no longer required in this new chapter of your career. Your management skills, your ability to communicate with others and knowing when to let go are the value today.

A great manager is someone who sets the tone, tells her people where she wants to go with the corporate goals in sight, and then? She gets out of the way. Called on to remove roadblocks as her people drive on, the successful manager does not take the time (or energy) to say when to turn left or right, how to navigate a challenge and how fast to take the curves. He or she needs to have faith in the people who were hired and utilize their strengths and talents to the organization’s best advantage.

Pulling from the multiple talents and experiences of a group is the great advantage of having a team to manage. When properly cultivated, that group is your go-to resource for tackling any number of issues and projects that may further your career (and theirs) higher than you thought possible. Limiting your group based only on your experiences and talents ties you down and restricts growth more than any budget cut.

Certainly, letting go is hard – but that’s why you are a manager, and that’s why you worked hard to get here. Keeping employees accountable for their actions – both when positive and negative results are obtained – is key in successful management as well.

Keep in mind, a manager who controls the daily actions and methods of their group is considered weak within an organization. They stifle growth from within, and creativity and problem solving is dampened. Morale is directly affected and high turnover isn’t healthy for anyone. Micromanagers can certainly be blamed for the loss of great young talent in many organizations.

Again, most managers have tread down the path of micromanagement, but successful managers recognize the signs and pull back. Be aware and manage your own behaviors first. Your team will be the more productive for it.

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