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  • Writer's pictureMike Bensi

Questions to Ask Before You Micromanage - Again

I'd like to think I'm an involved parent. I go to school events. Ask about friends. Watch more Disney movies that I'd like to admit.

During this past winter break, however, I felt overly involved at times. Stuck at home during the second week, I'd repeat "get off your phone" to my older kids on an hourly basis.

As we were all getting annoyed by this phrase during the break, I realized that it wasn't the phone that was the issue. It was that they weren't outside. Or that they weren't playing with each other. Or completing their chores.

There are times where leaders and managers need to balance how they stay involved with their team members. Knowing how to make sure the job gets done without actually micromanaging others can be a challenge. If you find yourself off-balance in this same way, try asking yourself:

  • Do you believe the person can do the job? You hired the person - has something changed?

  • Have you set the right expectations? Does your team member understand the ask?

  • What is the bigger purpose behind the task? If you're asking for a frequent report, what is the bigger purpose? The completion of the report, or understanding if the team is over-capacity?

  • What preferences do you have that might be getting in the way? Does the email always need to be written a certain way - or can it be done differently?

Striking the right balance as a leader can be hard, but when done well, you're helping the people you've hired learn - while giving them the room to do their job well.

All without staring at your phone.

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