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We all want to help. We all [whether we want to admit it or not] want to be helped. So why do we get it wrong so often in our attempts to help or accept help? Did a bit of research a few weeks ago on sales orgs in different potential verticals; and micromanagement from leadership kept coming up as reasons why people left or were unhappy.
How can we avoid micromanagement as leaders and avoid driving off great people with micromanagement?
It’s pretty easy to point out flaws in leadership that make you cringe. How about we stop and think about what we might be doing that makes a leader feel like they need to micromanage you. Why are we so resistant to somebody reminding us of our duties and goals and expectations on a regular basis? Can it not be re-framed as that tough coach pushing you to swim one more lap, or do one more set on the weight bench?
Perhaps we know we are not giving it our all. Maybe we are scared of giving 100% and failing and so we use this as an “out” to protect our fragile egos. I think many of us are overly defensive and sensitive to management techniques [even those applied wrong but with best intentions] and it makes the problem worse. You recoil from leadership and the leaders don’t get the feedback or response they are looking for and the lack of trust compounds and the problem gets worse.
So let’s try to come together and solve this problem. How can we help and allow ourselves to be helped? Let’s define “help” here first. In this context “help” means finding ways for leaders to avoid micromanagement in its negative connotation and replace it with consistent and welcomed feedback and coaching. It also means bringing down your defensive walls and humbling yourself so that you recognize leaders are trying to help get the most out of you and are not purposely doing things to frustrate or cause your performance to suffer.
Hopefully you can begin the process of addressing micromanagement in your working situation by focusing on the issue and attacking it dead on. This is true for leaders as well as frontline team members. We’re all on the same team here, often with the same goals…so let’s act like it a little more often.
Scott Leese has spent his entire career building and scaling sales orgs at SaaS companies, wrote a bestselling book “Addicted to the Process”, is currently the CEO/Founder of Scott Leese consulting and the Founder of the Surf and Sales Summit. You can find out more over on LinkedIn.
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