Stop Micromanaging: Respect the Personal Space of the Team

BY Kathy Crosett
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Are you feeling powerful and perfect? Some managers have these major personality characteristics which means they get big reward feelings from micromanaging their staff members instead of respecting their personal space. Here’s the advice from Margery Weinstein regarding that urge: Don’t — just don’t.

Micromanaging: an Invasion of Personal Space

Team members who enjoy being in their positions find reward through creativity and achieving goals. They want to excel, explains Weinstein, without anyone constantly looking over their shoulders. These folks don’t need you to pop into their cubicle every hour, invading their personal space, to find out how much progress they’ve made on the project that’s due at the end of the day.

If you’ve handed off a project that you were previously responsible for, you need to let go of process details, too. Unless there’s a critical reason for a specific process to be followed, i.e. brain surgery where outcome results in life or death, step back. Give your team member the personal space they need. Let your team member develop their own way to complete a routine task. Remember that they have developed their own work habits that likely best suit their work style. When you interfere and insist of tasks being done ‘your’ way, you remove ownership from the employee. You also remove their sense of accomplishment and they may not work as efficiently under the process you deem essential.

It’s reasonable to expect updates on progress as a manager, as Weinstein points out. Offer feedback when asked. Then find something else to do, something that doesn’t involve invading an employee's personal space by strolling by the employee’s cubicle to ask ‘how’s it going.’ Wait until the project is complete. If you’ve taken time to properly train the employee and outline your expectations for the project overall, the final outcome will likely surprise you.