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Managing Without Micromanaging

Managing Without Micromanaging

  • Micromanagement has a bad reputation, and team members want to work autonomously, not being watched all the time and told what to do.
  • Managers, however, cannot be held guilty in most cases, as team members doing complex work often need extensive help, and are now farther away in their homes, making it even more difficult to oversee.
  • Extensive research has shown that ‘pervasive helping’ leads to better performance, as compared to leaving the employee alone.

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  • If the project is complex, cognitively demanding and highly creative, one has to engage in a deep manner in the short term, but non-engagement(path clearing) in the long term.
  • The manager has to step in when an employee has come upon an obstacle which cannot be taken care of by som...

  • The power dynamics of being a manager and the multiple personalities that make up a boss can make the subordinates doubt the fact that they can get any effective help.
  • A boss stepping in is perceived as a sign of failure.
  • Employees can become defensive, unreceptive or the...

Successful managers don’t preempt every obstacle a team member encounters but watch and listen, looking for the right time to pitch in. If someone is already stuck in the challenge, first-hand, they are engaged enough to take the advice in a positive manner.

Lending the hand at the right t...

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What Not To Do When Asking For Help

  • Instruct people.
  • Tell or imply that they should help our debt they don’t have a choice about it.
  • Using unnecessary prefaces makes people feel trapped.
  • Profusely apologizing makes the experience seem less positive.
  • Emphasizing reciprocity can make people feel i...

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