1. Money
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

How to Stop Micromanaging Right Now

5 Steps to Breaking the Micromanagement Cycle

By

Woman pointing over shoulder of businessman at computer
altrendo images/Altrendo/Getty Images

If you have identified that you are a micromanager, it's time to stop the cycle and avoid harming your business any further.

It may seem like this challenge is insurmountable because you will have to change the way you think about delegation and your business processes and responsibilities, but breaking the micromanagement cycle is the only way to get on the path to business growth.

Are you ready to get started? Here are some effective ways to stop micromanaging and become a better team leader right now.

Step 1: Identify Your Insecurities

Many instances of micromanagement are directly related to insecurity on the part of the manager. You may be insecure about your ability to manage or your team members' ability to get the job done. You may worry that relinquishing control will only lead to disaster because no one can do the job as well as you can. Micromanagement can also be caused by inefficient and incomplete business processes.

To identify where the problem may be stemming from, take a hard look at yourself and your business. Although it may be difficult, it can also be helpful to ask an impartial third-party, such as a mentor or coach, to look at what's going on in your business and delegation process. But often, the solution is as simple as building up your own level of confidence, so you can become a better leader.

You will also want to look at your team members' skills and experience, the work to be completed and the communication that needs to take place. Ask yourself questions like: Where is the biggest disconnect? What has you the most worried and is making you feel like you need to watch closely every step of the way?

Step 2: Make Sure You Are Hiring the Right People

If insecurity is plaguing you, a solution may be found in building a better team. If your team is comprised of members you are not completely confident in, and who may not be confident in their own abilities, you are already on the path to a micromanagement disaster.

Before bringing members onto your team, analyze their background, your current needs and the team dynamic to ensure he or she is a good fit. If you see potential in someone, you may consider putting them through a training process and helping them build their skill and confidence levels so the delegation process becomes easier.

At the end of the day, if you can’t trust and respect your team members, they will not feel empowered to excel, and you will continue to question their work. And it all starts with hiring the right people for your team.

Step 3: Learn How to Delegate Effectively

Delegation isn't easy; it often takes new small business owners a while to understand not only why they should delegate, but also how to delegate effectively. And this can be a tremendous challenge when you consider that most small business owners are accustomed to doing a little bit of everything in their businesses.

While there is nothing wrong with being a self-sufficient business owner, you will never be able to grow your business without help. In order to grow your business, you need to know how delegation works and what behaviors you need to change in order to become an effective delegator.

Step 4: Let Go of Perfection

Easier said than done? Yes, certainly. But there is no place for perfection when it comes to delegation.

Part of the delegation process involves documenting what you want to accomplish and then transferring the knowledge needed for your team members to get it done. Then it's time for perhaps the most difficult part of delegation -- letting go and trusting that your team members will take the ball and run with it. This requires an understanding that they may do it in a way completely different from how you would do it.

In order to let go of perfection, you need to decide what’s more important to you: having the work completed to "perfection" (the way you would do it), or having it completely successfully in a different way. You may even be surprised to find that when you give your team members a little leeway, they discover new -- and better -- ways to do things.

Step 5: Create a Strong Team Dynamic

If you think of your team members as individual islands sprinkled around your business, there will never be a good team dynamic. A powerful team develops when there is a desire to work together, pool skills and experience to accomplish more, and build off each other's strengths. This can't happen when micromanagement is involved.

You can strengthen the team is by taking a genuine interest in your team members, their development and the ideas they bring to the table. Empower your team to take initiative and let them run with their ideas. You can further reduce the urge to micromanage by ramping up the team environment, allowing everyone to contribute, and providing recognition for a job well done.

It's not easy to break the micromanagement cycle, but it is possible. If you follow these steps, you will be able to build a smart, efficient and dedicated team that will help you grow your business.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.