Category Archives: Delegation

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end micromanagement

3 Tips To End Micromanagement

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Your boss doesn’t trust you. Now there is a shocking revelation. Micromanagement mostly happens for one reason, a lack of trust. Can you end micromanagement? Yes, perhaps you can.

At least two schools of thought exist for the concept of micromanagement. The first is that your boss simply doesn’t trust you. The second might be that your boss is a control freak. Many people might suggest that both of these ideas are connected and that when there is a lack of trust, the boss feels the need for more control.

Improve Relationships

When it comes to improving workplace relationships building more trust is critical, and when sufficient trust exists there is much less room for micromanagement. Here are several tips that can help make a difference:

  1. Ask more questions. Questions help to create focus. Your boss might not feel comfortable that you understand all of the parameters of the work you are about to perform. Not wanting to insult you or your capabilities your boss says very little but worries. You not wanting to appear incompetent or annoying ask very few questions. The end result is that your boss micromanages the project. The solution is to ask more questions and be sure to illustrate your understanding by using paraphrasing techniques.
  2. Mention past successes. During the early stages of any project be sure to reflect back on past successes. When you mention previous projects it will help both you and your boss feel more comfortable about the work you are about to perform. You might consider saying something like, “Yes, this is just like the work that we did on project X.” Considering that the past project was recognized as successful your boss will begin to feel more confident that you understand the new project and that you will do a fantastic job.
  3. Give progress reports. Perhaps, the last thing you want to do is to feel like you are being a pest to your boss. Not only does constant follow-up and check-ins make you feel weak, but you might also feel like you are annoying or interrupting something more important. If you are being micromanaged perhaps the best thing you can do is report in early. Let go of some of your own ego for a few minutes and provide that update or quick check-in with your boss before you are asked to do so. You might find that small and appropriately structured project updates will give your boss the peace of mind that the project is in good hands.

End Micromanagement

Micromanagement easily ranks in the top three for the type of complaints that I hear from employees at many different organizational levels. It is not necessarily a signal to me that the supervisors are doing a bad job, it is a signal to me that there is a lack of trust.

Trust is nearly always a two-way street, and there certainly can be varying degrees or levels of trust. Chances are good that your boss is not a control freak, and your situation can be improved by increasing trust. Remember though, trust takes time to build.

One final note, fighting trust issues by identifying that they exist and should just go away is not the answer. Saying “trust me” typically doesn’t resolve trust issues and in some cases it might make people watch more closely.

Do you want to end micromanagement?

Be patient with trust and keep in mind that you have the opportunity to build more.


Originally posted on November 4, 2016, last updated on November 16, 2018.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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Is Trust Required for Delegation?

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Many believe that it is the newest supervisors (managers, directors, leaders, et al) who fail to effectively delegate. Yes, there is often a learning curve or adjustment period required when you enter a new leadership role, but even the most seasoned professionals sometimes miss the mark on effective delegation.


The absence of effective delegation is often related fear. Fear is the driver of poor performance in many leadership competencies and delegation is not an exception. Leaders reluctant to delegate often struggle with the fear of failure, the fear of success, or even the fear that they may lose control. Poor delegation efforts also develop when the leader hand picks the jobs that are fun, easy, or they otherwise enjoy doing. A lack of trust is often the factor most associated with fear in delegation efforts.

Is trust required? Well, it certainly helps most situations. Here are three key points that relate to delegation and trust:

1. Expectation conversations are easier. Let’s face it, if you don’t trust that a team member can do the work, do it correctly, and do it on time, your conversation prior to handing over any assignment is going to be longer, more drawn out, and require a lot more effort. Sometimes so much effort that a person who should be delegating work simply decides to do it themselves citing that it is just easier that way.

2. Delegation takes less time when there is trust. Think of a conversation you might have with a co-worker who you don’t trust very much. Take a moment to visualize that conversation, really go through it step-by-step. Now, think about that same conversation with a person who you completely trust. What is the difference? Delegation with a person you trust is not only easier but it will take much less time. You don’t have the same feeling of needing to discuss the finest details, of double checking for clarity and expectations, and you feel more confident eliminating some of the stress that often hinders good delegation efforts.

3. Trusted resources are supervised differently. Of course, this is true. A person who you completely trust to complete assignments, to complete them properly, on-time, while also meeting or exceeding expectations is going to be a different supervisory experience when compared to someone that you believe cannot achieve that same level of performance.

Are you effective at delegation? What would your direct reports say? Have you asked them? Have you recently (or ever) been accused of micromanaging?

Perhaps the step that comes before delegation should be building more trust.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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