The other day, I was telling someone that I really love to be a “hands on” kind of manager or leader.
The next question was, “well, that’s great but how do you know if you’re crossing the line from ‘hands on’ to micromanaging?”
That’s an insightful question. And I’m working up an email post for my subscribers on the topic this weekend, but here are some broad strokes.
First, check your intention before having a conversation that might cross that fine line from being really “hands on” to being really annoying. If you’re walking into a conversation from a mental place where you need something from someone or have an insecure need to control what a person is doing, this should be a red flag for you. The person receiving the communication will almost surely pick up on your subconscious feelings.
Second, you need to have done the hard work of really hearing and seeing the people on your team. That way you’ll know the subtle cues and the way that people like to be engaged. For example, understandably, a lot of software engineers don’t like being engaged when they’re deep in the code. Others are able to context switch more easily. So knowing them means you’ll know the right time to engage.
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