Today’s advice comes from Steven Sinofsky, Executive in Residence at Harvard Business School, via LinkedIn:
“The first sign of micromanaging is when delegating a project you also delegate the specifics of the solution. While that makes sense in some fields, in creative or information work, being told up front the steps to follow makes one feel like a vendor and not a partner in the work.”
Sinofsky says that getting too specific about the solution is not often beneficial to employees because it does not enhance their skillset or career. The same applies to the way progress is reported. When entrusting employees to take on a project, give them the freedom to define the mechanics of the project by their terms.
“Things might not be always going as well as everyone wants and when that happens managers can sometimes slip into “gotta get this fixed” mode. This type of course correction can remove many of the downstream benefits of delegation and turn into a big negative for folks. It not only disempowers, but demotivates. When things aren’t going well, the time is right for honest feedback and a two-way dialog.”
Want your business advice featured in Instant MBA? Submit your tips to [email protected]. Be sure to include your name, your job title, and a photo of yourself in your email.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.