from Inc.com Zine 08/15 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Everyone agrees that Micro-Management is a bad thing, but not everyone knows how to identify and correct it. In my experience, micro-management manifests itself in the following five avoidable behaviors:
1. Measuring too many things.
The advantage of technology is that you can measure your business more accurately. The dis-advantage is that technology makes it too easy to measure too much. Measuring so much that it’s not clear what the data really means is classic micro-management.
What to do instead: For every job, select just a few of the most significant metrics that define success for that job. Ignore everything else.
2. Monitoring too closely.
Monitoring is sometimes confused with measurement, but the two are different. You measure data; you monitor behavior. Monitoring becomes micro-management if you’re always looking over employees’ shoulders.
What to do instead: Loosely observe your employees at meeting and when they report to you. Let them know the door is open and let employees request monitoring & coaching when if & when they feel the need to improve their performance.
3. Building too much Consensus.
Gathering inputs before making a decision is a good idea – especially from the people who’ll be affected by the decision. However, you’re micro-managing if you try to get everyone on-board – before making a decision. Just talk to the key people involved and trusted colleauges at your level.
What to do instead: Set a deadline for the decision. Schedule a limited amount of time to gather inputs. Then make the decision by the deadline, unless it is a major decision – that affects a lot of people – then make sure you have all the inputs from the most significant people or sufficient info to make a decision.
4. Intervening too much.
Helicopter managers are as bad as helicopter parents–they create helplessness in the people they’re trying to help. The only way that people can grow is by making mistakes, which means that the manager can’t be jumping in all the time to fix things. Discuss the lesson in the failure with them to help them learn the cause and correction.
What to do instead: Provide guidance when asked, but let your employees fail. If they can’t or don’t learn from their mistakes, they’re not worth keeping as employees. Weed out the bad ones as soon as possible. Give those with potential, another chance.
5. Setting too many Priorities.
Managers confuse employees (and themselves as well) when have a list of “priorities” all of which are more or less equally important. This creates micro-management because that’s the only way to “keep all the plates spinning.”
What to do instead: Discuss the priorities for each employee, each team, etc, based on the needs of the organization. Once they’ve agreed and committed to the priorities, there’s a much higher probablity that they’ll be accomplished on time. However, let them sort out how to achieve that goal or objective – unless they come to you for guidance.
Comments: Do you have any other ideas on how to avoid being a Micro-Manager?