Coach – Don’t Manage

What would you rather have, a committed or compliant employees? What camp do your employees belong – the commitment or compliance camp? Coaching is how you create the difference.

Effective coaching helps your folks to be committed, people are begging for leadership not micromanagement. Coaching is a very effective way to avoid micromanagement and become a more impactful leader. What are the warning signs that you are the dreaded micromanager and how can you use coaching to lead more effectively?

First -what are a few of the dreaded symptoms of the notorious micromanagers?

Managers who fear losing control typically embrace micromanagement. (They may even hang on for dear life.)  Because you fear losing control you are obsessed with following every step of every project to the dreaded conclusion. A clear giveaway of micromanagement is that you dish out instructions but make it impossible for your team to give you input, feedback or suggestions. Micromanagers are bad listeners. The ratio of listening to instructing will tell you where you are on the continuum of micromanagement vs. coaching. Coaches listen, and micromanagers tell.

Your approach is the best approach


Your work is the best work and your employees work is always substandard. How often do your employees get the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and know how?  Micromanagers push employees aside and those employees begin to doubt their talents and abilities.

Continuous interference

If you are always in the driver’s seat of every small decision you are micromanaging. Yes, as a leader you should have a say in the larger decisions, but not in every minuscular aspect of the business. How will your people learn and grow if you overlook every aspect of their job?

You focus on how not what

You may want a job done, but do you have to have it done your way? The Frank Sinatra syndrome “I did it my way.” This is the difference between managing and micro-management. When you delegate a task to another employee, don’t focus on how they should do it, but on what they should do. The difference is coaching vs. micromanaging. People micromanage because they are afraid of the consequences of not being totally and fully in charge of every detail.

What are some of the best ways to overcome micromanagement?

  1. Ask employees how they would do the task. And then let them do it. Their way!
  2. Ask employees to give you a plan on how they can accomplish the task you have selected? Let them execute their plan.
  3. Ask your employees this simple question? Am I a micromanager? If they answer yes, listen and then without defensiveness ask “How would you recommend how I overcome it?” Trust me they have been waiting a long, long time for you to finally ask. Believe me they have many suggestions to fix this problem.

Don’t let micromanagement keep you from being a great leader. Learn to ask questions as an effective coach and it will set you on the path of being a great manager.