Avoid Micromanaging by Setting Clear Targets for Your Direct Reports

Micromanagement isn’t a personality flaw; it’s a breakdown in the fundamentals of delegation.

As a coach / manager, you should be able to give someone a task without having to look over their shoulder.

The key is to provide clear goals.

If you want your direct report to improve customer satisfaction, define by how much and specify which elements of satisfaction are most important. You should also explain the constraints of the project: “stay within this budget” or “follow these policies” or “get my approval on this type of decision.”

Without these guardrails you’re likely to leave the person flailing, and you in turn, will want to hover. But be careful not to give too many constraints.

Telling your general counsel, for example, to “get the contract in place” and then handing him the term sheet on a napkin is likely too vague. But saying “I’ll need to approve all edits in each step of the negotiation” is too much of a constraint and will waste everyone’s time.

You need to find the right balance for you and your team.


Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC, and author of “The 3×5 Coach: A Practical Guide to Coaching Your Team for Greater Results and Happier People”, which is available in Paperback or a Kindle version at https://tinyurl.com/y8ecykfy

At 55 Questions, we work with successful top executives with a driving ambition to crush their competition.  We help CEOs and Entrepreneurs improve alignment, communication, and accountability throughout their organization. www.55Questions.com

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