Supervisory Leadership

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How do I get managers to work for me to stop micro-managing their staff?

First, emphasize the benefits. There will be less stress and higher productivity if your managers get their people making decisions without having to come running in for approval.

The boss will have less stress because he or she will have fewer tasks to perform. The workload will simply be lower. There will be less to research, less that's being done with incomplete knowledge, and a lower error rate. There will be less task-switching, doing the multi-tasking of shifting from one task to another and back again.

The boss will get higher productivity because the people making the basic decisions will be closer to the situation and more likely to be experts in their particular area. They should make better decisions and implement them faster than if they need to seek permission.

To get the benefits of not micro-managing, the doctor needs to follow some simple guidelines.

First, hire competent people for the work and office situation you have. Competent people are the raw material of great performance.

Set clear expectations for your people. They should know what you want, including when to come to you for a decision.

Turn them loose to do their job. But make sure you have a way to measure what they're doing so you can monitor it.

Make sure your folks have the training and resources (both time and money) to do what you want. If they don't, get it for them.

Remember that not everyone is competent to turn loose on every task. But if your managers see part of their job as helping people grow and develop, they can move everyone toward ideal performance, get the benefits of decision making on the spot, and still spend time with the folks who need training and guidance.


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