There has been a lot of focus on micromanagement. It’s a popular and frequently correct diagnosis for management ills. However, if micromanagement is the wrong way to do things, what’s the right direction for a lab manager to take?
Derived from Latin, delegate means “to send from.” Delegation is the antithesis of micromanagement - which in the extreme can be defined as “giving subordinates a project but checking on the progress frequently, offering many ‘helpful’ suggestions, and leaving them with the clear impression that you could do it better and faster.”
Here are some tips from www.liraz.com to help you steer clear of micromanagement and move toward delegating well:
- Remember, you are not the only one that can accomplish an end result. Trust others to be capable of achieving it.
- Delegate whole pieces or entire job pieces rather than simply tasks and activities.
- Resist the urge to solve someone else's problem. They need to learn for themselves. Give them suggestions and perhaps limits but let them take their own action.
- Never take back a delegated item because you can do it better or faster. Help the other person learn to do it better.
- Agree on the frequency of feedback meetings or reports between yourself and the person to whom you are delegating. Good communication will assure ongoing success.
- Keep following up and following through until the entire project is done.
In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”