In my experience, one of the prime reasons that we find ourselves approaching the dreaded area of micromananagment is fear. What are we afraid of? Here’s a few reasons that stick out:
- Situational awareness. If I’m not there every minute of every day, I won’t know what’s happening. Solution – identify your information requirements (what do you really need to know to track and guide progress) and communicate those to your team. As an added bonus, make sure your team knows why you need what you asked for; improved flow of information will result.
- The project won’t be mine. Success of the team is not about you, it’s about the team. Solution – remind yourself that even as leader, you are part of the team. Check your communication style to make sure that’s the message you’re sending.
- If I don’t tell them what to do, how will they know what to do? If you’ve been clear in your intent, everyone should know what to do without the constant reminders. Solution – make sure your intentions are clear, concrete and sticky. That means investing time in the front end to provide relevant instructions. Have you ever assembled a piece of cheap furniture and found the instructions impossible to comprehend? Hint: Don’t be that guy…
So assume some risk. Acknowledge that you won’t know absolutely everything. Acknowledge that you don’t actually need to.