How to Stop Micromanaging and Empower Autonomous Teams

My Post - 2020-03-26T110852.117.pngAs a manager, trusting your team to learn, improve, and eventually function autonomously is part of the job— but sometimes trust can feel more like losing control. If you fear what might happen when you loosen your grip and give more autonomy to your team, it’s worth also considering what could happen if you don’t.

According to a study by Gallop, 75 percent of the reasons people quit come down to their managers. Having a manager who doesn’t grant ownership and emphasize individual impact within an organization can lead to dissatisfaction, and eventually, employee turnover.

No one plans on becoming a micromanager; they dream of being a leader. So what should you do if you wake up and realize you are micromanaging your team?

1. Understand your underlying reasons for micromanaging your team

You’ve come to accept that you’re a micromanager, and you’ve realized you aren’t acting like the kind of manager you want to be. It might feel hopeless. But don’t throw the towel in just yet.

First, think about what has caused you to micromanage in the first place: what goes through your mind when you second-guess your team’s work?  Do you mistrust their judgment or attention to detail? Do you feel insecure with your own position in the company – and worry there’s no room for mistakes?

Ask yourself where this pressure is coming from, and start by taking a few easy-to-implement steps.

  • Talk it through with your boss. Schedule a time to sit with your boss to understand his or her KPIs for you and your team. This will help you understand where you stand and what to focus on moving forward.
  • Empower your team with small initiatives. Take the time to assess your teams’ individual strengths and passions. Start off small, with projects and tasks you feel comfortable letting go of, and have them own it A to Z.
  • Focus on the big picture. Start setting your own personal goals and KPIs of where you would like to lead your team. By investing your time in big-picture projects, your priorities will begin to shift from micromanagement to leadership.

2. Talk to your team and determine how they can work autonomously

Whether it’s due to individual performance, a poorly managed process, or unclear communication within the team, the best way to understand how to move forward is to get a full picture of the current situation.

Let your team know you’ll be scheduling meetings for feedback to discuss internal processes and initiatives in order to set expectations. Emphasize that you are committed to hearing and implementing their feedback. Walk into the meeting with the intention of learning more about the strengths and interests of your team. Understanding each individual’s strong points can help in structuring your team to work better together. – Read more

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