What is the typical time frame for that step? Uh-huh…ok…I need to understand why it takes that long. Have you tried putting some additional resources on that task? Oh…I see…What about making some adjustments to the process? Mmm-hmmm
Well, I’m going to need you to call me when it gets to that stage so I can manage any impacts. Hello? Hello? Are you still there?
“Hey Jack, it sounds like you’re staying on top of some important work there.”
“I was checking on the progress of my Amazon order. I ordered a cat sweater.”
“Really? I think they can do that without your supervision.
What? It’s getting chilly outside…”
Welcome to this episode of Jack Chat and another tiny lesson in leadership, straight up.
In this episode, we’ll address the line between noticing… and micromanaging. It’s a line leaders often fail to navigate well. And, of course, the stakes are typically much higher than tracking the order of a cat sweater.
Noticing is a super power. Micromanaging is a super power killer.
I’m guessing you’ve never taken a leadership course on “noticing,” so perhaps they best place to start is to tell you what I mean by this intriguing super power.
Noticing is a daily habit of giving attention without taking power. It’s an act of observing through a lens of valuing the other person’s performance while believing in their potential. It is not heavy handed or interventional – micromanaging by the way is both of those things.
Here’s a bonus! Noticing is integral to accountability. In fact, the first step of an effective accountability process is called the “nudge” and it’s an act of noticing. You might say, “I noticed you were late to the meeting. Is everything ok?”
The nudge is a perfect way to keep the power with the other person while showing them that you do pay attention to their performance – and you care about them personally.
Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you find the line between noticing and micromanaging:
How do I give attention to the people on my team?
When I give attention to a team member, where is my primary focus? On my needs or their needs?
What do I typically do the first time I notice a team member is stepping off track from expectations? Do I let it slide? Or do I use the opportunity to nudge them?
Give those questions some thought to build your “noticing” super power….and join me again for another chat.