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Micromanagers don’t instil confidence

It has often been said that being in management is like being halfway up a tree full of monkeys – look down and all you see are vacant smiling faces, look up and all you see are asses.

Micromanagers don’t instil confidence

It has often been said that being in management is like being halfway up a tree full of monkeys – look down and all you see are vacant smiling faces, look up and all you see are asses.

If you stuck in this type of situation, it’s time to grab a branch and swing out of that tree.

Stop Managing People

The world of business no longer has room for managers who were previously nothing more than well-paid policemen, controlling and dominating everyone in their domain.

People, especially the competent and intelligent ones, find it insulting and belittling to be ‘managed’.  If you are constantly leaning over their shoulders and checking up on them, asking them what they are doing all the time and generallymicromanaging them, they become resentful and uncooperative.  This is because micromanagement makes people feel that you don’t trust them to do the job properly themselves.  Instead of chasing your staff, have feedback or status sessions and employ a true open door policy for them to freely approach you when they need help.  This shows them that you have confidence in their abilities, which encourages them to give their best efforts

Set the standard

You need the respect of your staff to get their co-operation and commitment.  Respect, unfortunately, cannot be demanded, it has to be earned.  The easiest way to do this is to set a good example.  “Be the change you want to see in your staff” to paraphrase Gandhi.  Show up on time; be organised, efficient and diligent; and most of all be passionate and enthusiastic about your work.  Enthusiasm and passion are contagious, and unfortunately so are despondency and laziness.  Don’t let that happen.  Rather drive those negative attitudes away with your bright and positive disposition.

Walk the talk

Integrity is defined as “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty; the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished; unimpaired”., unabridged (v.1.1)

Integrity is also the hallmark of a good manager.  There is wholeness about you, because your actions and words are aligned.  If you have integrity, you won’t say things you don’t mean and you will always do what you say.  Your staff will trust you and your decisions.  Mutual trust is at the heart of all relationships and is essential to motivate your staff to give their best performances.

Systematic Solutions

If you have a motivated team, you will find that they are harder on themselves than you could ever be on them.  They will push hard and your job will be much easier.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to have everyone on your team working together.  You must take the initiative and have a system to ensure that the disciplinary process runs smoothly and stays impartial and impersonal.

Many novices, insecure or immature managers believe that micromanagement is the only way to exert authority and control over their staff.  Mature managers know how to put the right systems in place and ensure discipline so that they can work on really important tasks such as planning, leading and inspiring people.

This may sound like a bureaucratic approach, but it all depends on how you proceed.  If you have a small company, you can even involve your team in drawing up policies that will govern discipline in the company.

If you already have policies, or you work in a large company where you probably have plenty of policy and procedure documents available on your company intranet, then your team needs to familiarise itself with these documents.

Download the ones that apply to your department and spend some time discussing the policies with your staff.  Give them copies of the documents and encourage them to give you feedback on how they feel about the procedures.  Keep an open mind and listen to them – perhaps they will provide constructive ways to improve the system which you can take to the powers that be.

Clarify expectations

Most conflicts in relationships at work or at home are due to confusion over expectations.  Naturally you don’t want people to fall into the habit of doing what is only in their job description, but you need to be clear about what is expected of them.  When people don’t know what is expected of them.  When people don’t know what you want of them, they lose focus and direction.  Your team cannot work together if no one is sure what is expected of them.  If they are all doing their own thing, you can bet that there will be squabbles.  Ensure that each person clearly understands their responsibilities.  Provide them with written job descriptions if necessary, but take the time to go through these with them.  Your department will have focus and direction, and your results will take off.

Enforcing the rules

Once everyone knows what to expect and understands the consequences of non-compliance, then discipline is simply about enforcing the rules.  This should be done with discretion, respect and understanding.  If someone is not pulling their weight, refer them to the policy and remind them that they agreed to comply.  Then without getting personal or losing your temper, apply whatever consequences are set for the particular contravention.

Shift your focus

The world is moving from a time-driven economy to a performance-based one.  Your management style needs to change to meet the challenges of a results-driven world.  You need to encourage your staff to evaluate their progress for the results they are producing, rather than for the hours they are clocking.  We need to move away from the attitude that says it is good enough to just pitch up, sit at your desk until home time and leave.


Incentives are a great way to nudge your staff out of their robotic approach to work.

There are a few things to consider when offering incentives:

  • Incentives must reward results, which should be clearly defined;
  • The incentive must also be relevant to individual staff members; and
  • To provide relevant incentives, you really need to know your staff.
  • World-class service begins with how you treat your staff, as they can be your best advertisement.

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