How to Stop Micromanaging Your Team & How You Can Empower Them Instead

how to stop micromanaging
I'm Madeleine!

I’m a small-town girl from Switzerland, rebel entrepreneur, warrior for freedom and visionary with big dreams. Passionate about: Live music, deep conversations, and desert landscapes.

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In this post, I’m back with another topic that can help you get more out of your business as a CEO. Today I want to talk about empowering versus micromanaging a team.

How to stop micromanaging

The Problem with Micromanaging 

I’ve seen it many times before: CEOs that are left to clean up the mess once a team member has left or had to fire someone because they didn’t perform. This is where the pendulum tends to swing to the side of micromanaging every detail, looking to ensure that things get done – and done correctly, at that. 

I’ve experienced this and made these same mistakes, having had to learn lessons on micromanaging the hard way. So what I want to share in this post is how you can empower your team member instead of looking over their shoulder for every task and stressing them (and yourself) out in the process.

There are three things that have made a big difference in how I look at this piece of running a business. I will share them below.

Teaching Your Team to Think Through Problems

The first thing you need to do as a CEO to avoid micromanaging is to teach your team to think through problems instead of just completing task after task. Your team members aren’t robots – you want them to use their brains at work! 

I recently worked with a CEO that showed me a system they created. It was a minute-by-minute checklist that denoted how team members should spend all of their time at work. This method of micromanaging was born out of fear. The CEO had past team members fail in the past, and they were looking to avoid a repeat occurrence. Thus, this checklist was created, leaving nothing to the imagination. I’m here to tell you, though, that there IS a better way!

That same CEO showed me another tool they had created: a color-coded table used to help team members prioritize. Now this is brilliant! It shows employees how to think through decisions they’re faced with every day in their jobs. It sets clear expectations of what their success actually looks like instead of just having them blindly follow a checklist. 

CEOs must empower their team to take ownership of their job responsibility. There’s always a good reason for team members not doing their job correctly, and it’s important to slow down and figure out what it is. If you don’t, you’ll be doomed to have to deal with it again.

Align Job Descriptions with Natural Strengths 

The next must-do to avoid micromanaging is to align job descriptions with the natural strengths of your team members. I worked with a CEO where I recruited a team member to help with their backend and techie tasks. This person was doing so well, and the CEO was happy with their performance.

But then, they just disappeared and they weren’t replying to calls or emails. The CEO asked me to look into it. When I got in touch with this team member, they explained to me that they had been given responsibilities that were way out of their area of strength. After raising this as a concern, the CEO persisted and the team member did their best, but ended up failing.

The CEO then scolded the team member and they felt like they, first of all, weren’t being heard. Furthermore, they felt as though they couldn’t do their job correctly, which led to them ghosting the CEO and disappearing completely.

CEOs need to let their team members operate in their zone of genius in order to create long-lasting, happy relationships. We frequently talk about how important it is for visionaries to stay in their zone of genius, but it’s important for team members, too.

Plus, there are other added benefits associated with aligning jobs with the strengths of employees. First, this will allow team members to show up for their role with excitement. Next, they’ll take more ownership of their job. Finally, they’ll require very little management. All of these factors contribute to your mission to build a self-managing team.

Building Systems Around Your Team

Finally, I highly recommend building systems around your team to avoid micromanaging tendencies. Most CEOs hire new team members when they’re at their breaking point. With this comes a problem – they don’t have time to invest in training and supporting their new team members. 

Because of this, the new hire ends up creating systems and workflows from their perspective, as the implementer of the team. This is a problem because systems should instead be from the perspective of the visionary, ensuring that they are all in support of the vision. But these systems are built on the go to keep up with demand, and they end up clunky and cumbersome.

From there, team members are attached to how things are and highly resistant to changing them. I call this “team member gone rogue.” Resentment then starts building on both sides. The CEO is resentful because things aren’t more streamlined while the team member is resentful because they don’t feel appreciated for the work that they’ve done.

This is why systems need to be built before hiring team members, as it allows there to be clear expectations from the start. They will then know what’s expected and what success looks like, which helps them to do their job the correct way. Systems should be built not for where your company is now, but for where you want to go. They’re equipped for growth and expansion rather than bottlenecks or capacity blocks.

Leadership at the Core: The Bottom Line

Putting leadership at the core of everything you do is the pathway to avoiding micromanaging. You need to lead your team and show them the way, even as you’re handing things off. Once you do this and have empowered employees, you’ll have a more effective work environment that runs like a well-oiled machine.

I would love to get connected on Instagram or The 7-Figure Freedom Club Facebook Group so we can chat about your takeaways from this episode. If you’re interested in learning more, schedule a call with me today or visit my website!

And if you want to take the next step, take the business assessment quiz to get started.

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