If you’re interested in improving your skills as a manager, then you’re probably no stranger to the common advice doled out by mentors, seminar leaders, blogs, and books written by experts. And if you’ve been reading and listening throughout your career, you’re probably familiar with the key differences between effective managers and ineffective micromanagers. A few examples: Strong managers give positive feedback and encouragement; weak ones are distrustful and critical. Strong managers recognize that mistakes teach us and help us grow; weak ones fear and avoid any form of failure, no matter how insignificant.
This list goes on, and most of these differences come as no surprise. Strong leaders are transparent, kind, resilient, and respectful. Weak ones are cagey, competitive, and overbearing. But in all these comparisons, one important detail may be getting lost: action. Just because you’ve heard these things before doesn’t mean you’re effectively working them into your daily routine. Despite a barrage of advice, we still sometimes slip into weak patterns when these patterns happen to be easier and our energy and attention are at a low ebb. Here are four considerations that can keep you from becoming the micromanager you really don’t want to be.
Actually track your feedback.
You might believe that you walk through the halls of your workplace doling out positivity like a radiant rainbow. But is this true? Are your positive thoughts taking the form of words and gestures? Keep an actual written list of the compliments and encouragement you give voice to each day and see if it measures up to your assumptions.
Reduce your constant contact.
Instead of asking to be looped into every meeting and getting a CC on every email, schedule weekly or monthly update meetings with each of your teams. Make the updates a regular expectation and you can cut yourself out of the daily information flow.
Alter your response to disappointments.
When your employee doesn’t get the desired results on a project, stop thinking of this as a failure or a problem. Instead, think of it as a growth opportunity — for both of you. Encourage your employee to practice resilience and experiential learning while you work on your positive coaching skills.
Letting go of control can be easier said than done, but making this happen can be the first step toward better and more effective leadership. Take two steps back, and your employees will grow into the space you create for them. For more on how to turn tips like these into meaningful action, contact the team at the ACCENT Hiring Group.