Effective Management v's Micro-Management?
When touching base with those in your team – do you find you ‘check in’ or ‘check up’?
In some recent DiA small group sessions, we have been exploring the difference between ‘micro-management’ and ‘effective management’. We all appreciate how important it can be for our people to feel empowered and have opportunities to be autonomous. And we HATE it when other people ‘micro-manage’ us, so we do our very best to make sure that we don’t micro-manage others.
But such a strong belief about empowerment and autonomy can actually mean we DON’T give people want they need to succeed! It can mean we
- don’t set them up for success
- don’t give them the appropriate support to help them achieve, and
- don’t let them know how they are performing – so they can feel recognised for their achievements and so they can learn and grow
Sometimes people think that doing the opposite micro-management, actually ends up looking more like NO management! And this isn’t the most effective way to lead either!
Let’s look at some differences:
People who ‘manage effectively’ tend to…
- Focus on results (the why, what and when) – they clearly define expectations and accountabilities. An employee who clearly understands the purpose and timeframe can more easily make the ‘right’ choices and take appropriate action on their own. Effective managers define work to be done in terms of the outcomes rather than the process.
- Share information and provide plenty of context. This is important because it not only helps to build trust; it gives employees important information that will allow them to make the best possible decisions in critical situations. It can also help them to develop their own plans to achieve the vision.
- Give the right resources and information for people to achieve the desired outcomes. Resources include people, budget, tools, authority, etc. They also connect or link team members with others in the organisation that can help them on a particular task or development journey.
- Ensure there is clarity around decision making. They ensure their team member knows what they can decide for themselves without seeking manager approval or input. By eliminating unnecessary approval steps, other mechanisms such as post-action monitoring and feedback will be enough.
- Hold people accountable and determine the appropriate time for follow ups. This is the difference between a check-in and a check-up...
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