Friday, June 15, 2007

Did You Micromanage Someone Today?

I met with a manager this week who is transitioning into a new role (fantastic!!) and is training her replacement.

We were discussion the difficulties of handing over her work to the new hire, so just for fun I role-played how delegation usually works:

Step 1... DELEGATE: Give them a task.

Step 2... PROD: Follow up a few days later and ask "Did you get it done?" (accompanied by a wild finger-jabbing gesture).

Step 3... Wake up to the fact that you've just become your worst nightmare: A MICROMANAGER.

After my demonstration, the manager burst out laughing and asked if I had been reading her mind.

The TASK->PROD style of delegating leaves you feeling guilty of 'helicopter management', hovering over someone, sending them the message that you don't trust them to take ownership of their work. Or, if your style tends more toward conflict avoidance, you are left to guess at whether they will complete the task, and hope that a few passive-aggressive glances will guilt them into producing the goods.

Is there a better way? Well, Yes! In a nutshell, the model for effective delegating goes like this:

Step 1: Describe the overall vision or objective

Step 2: Co-create clear expectations

Step 3: Co-create accountability

Step 4: Positively challenge them to deliver a high standard of excellence.

Step 5: Give frequent feedback

Step 6: Celebrate their success!

I will elaborate more on each step in the upcoming edition of the newsletter, which you can opt-in for here.

1 comment:

Christina said...

I agree that co-creation of accountability is the best way, but sometimes team members refuse to accept accountability or do not share your vision/objective. In those cases, the task/prod approach is necessary and useful. Every indivual contributor requires a tailored leadership approach!