An inability to let go of minutiae cuts dramatically into your productivity and your staff’s productivity. Is micromanagement impeding your progress? Answer “Yes” or “No” to the following questions:
- I sign off on all projects, from large to small.
- Most decisions end up in my lap.
- I feel overwhelmed by administrative tasks.
- Staff turnover is high and morale is low.
If most of your answers are “Yes,” you need to learn how to modify your “death grip”style. These three steps can help you feel more comfortable and also encourage growth in your employees:
- Establish a trust level for each staffer. For example, Helen has excellent judgment, so give her project authority. On the other hand, even though Tim is an excellent worker, you need to establish progress checkpoints for him.
- Make sure staffers understand your instructions. Ask them to repeat assignments verbally and confirm complex tasks with a follow-up email.
- Open multiple avenues of communication. Establish check-in, interim and deadline dates. Follow up faithfully. Tell employees your door is always open, but give them a good sense of the extent of their authority and when they should consult you. Occasionally ask staffers “How’s it going?” Then let them get on with their work.