Managing Without Micromanaging - Deepstash

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How to Help (Without Micromanaging)

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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Behaviors of highly engaged employees
Behaviors of highly engaged employees
  1. They do not use their problems as an excuse from mistakes. They don't let the problem affect their ability to perform.
  2. They know how to take accountability for their actions.
The management and highly-engaged employees

Managers create the conditions that promote the behaviors of engaged employees with the relationships they establish.

  • The bosses who individualize create a space for their employees to seek out their strengths and only ask when advice is needed.
  • The bosses who generalize will often require constant managerial intervention because they don't foster engagement-creating behavior.
Engagement-oriented questions

Asking engagement oriented questions allows the employee to be able to think for themselves and to examine situations, analyze their own performance and generate great ideas or solutions.

This method is modeled from the Socratic Method that aids in stimulating mindful observation and critical thinking.

For example: "This report has been on your desk for a while now. Are you having trouble getting the information you need to complete it? Do you need help?"

What Not To Do When Asking For Help
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 apologi...
Reinforce A Request For Help
  • In-group: Assuring that you’re on the helper’s team and the team’s importance taps into our need to belong to and perpetuate supportive social circles. 
  • Positive identity: Creating or enhancing their recognition that they are uniquely placed to provide assistance and that they aren’t just “people who can help” but routinely helpful people. 
  • Effectiveness: People want to know the impact of the aid they will give. Knowing one’s actions have an effect is a fundamental human motivation. 
Research Results On Helpfulness
  • Studies indicate that people are willing to help more often than we expect.
  • Studies suggest that we underestimate how much effort those who do agree to help will put in.
  • Those who help others get to feel better with themselves than those who don’t.
Authenticity has become a mark for leadership
Authenticity has become a mark for leadership

An oversimplified understanding of what it means to be transparent can prevent your growth and limit your influence. When we feel out of our comfort zone, we can often use authenti...

Why leaders struggle with authenticity
  • In trying to improve our game, a firm sense of self is a compass, but when we want to change our game, a too rigid self-concept can prevent us from moving forward.
  • In global business, we often work with people who don't share our cultural norms. They may have a different expectation for how we should behave than what feels authentic.
  • In today's world of connectivity, how we present ourselves is a critical aspect of leadership. We have to carefully curate a persona and that can clash with our private sense of self.
Leadership styles

There are two ways in which leaders develop their personal styles:

  1. High self-monitors are naturally able to try on different styles until they find a good fit for themselves. They adapt to the demands of a situation without feeling fake. They care about managing their public image and may mask their vulnerability.
  2. True-to-selfers tend to express what they really think and feel, even when it is counter to situational demands. It may make people question their ability to do the job.