The picture above is of The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia


Monday, August 17, 2009

Do you Micromanage your kids? I think I do!

I decided to do a little research on Management :O -- The ins and outs on managing a large group of people with different personalities. Who better than a large family like my own. --

I found this interesting article on the Dangers of Micromanaging...oooo...ouch!!!. I tend to do this alot!

I will highlight some of the interesting points I found and relate it to my home life. FUN!!

The Dangers of Being a Micromanager

You may wonder exactly why being a micromanager is bad for your business (Oh no!!!). On the surface, it seems wise (it sure does) to make sure that your staff is doing a good job, to pitch in and help with a project now and then. It seems to demonstrate a solid work ethic and set a good example for the team. What could bewrong with that? (Yeah, what could be wrong with that?)

Well, if you’re a manager, there’s a lot wrong with that.

Basically, micromanaging is involving yourself too directly (yep I do this way to much) in what your staff should be doing instead. By definition, a manager is tasked with — yes, you guessed it —managing. That involves coordinating projects, solving problems, dealing with other managers, and developing relationships with clients. (homeschool planning and teaching; disciplining the little boogers; loving on my hubby and ironing his work clothes; loving and building good relationships with my kids)The manager has to ensure that a certain quantity of work gets done, and normally that work is much more than one person could ever do alone ( you better believe it with a large family I can't do it alone....I tell this to my kids lots). Therefore, the manager supervises a team of people to help them carry out that work.

However, if a manager’s time is consumed with micromanaging, there's no time for all the other managerial tasks on his or her plate (maybe this is why I feel behind many times over). Quite simply, it is damaging to your business to micromanage. (OUCH!!! and double OUCH!!!)Here are some tips to keep in mind when tempted to manage to the nth degree:

  • There’s more than one right way. As a supervisor (mom) you need to prepare your employees (you mean children ;) to complete projects successfully, and to be clear from the beginning about the results you expect from them. Then you should stand back (WHAT??? Stand back....could this actually happen!!) and let them carry out their designated tasks in the way they see fit, (I can see the dust bunny sitting on the couch and jumping for joy) coming up with their own solutions. Remember that employees (my kids) need to do things in a positive way, but not necessarily in the same way you would do them (Yeah, you're right about this). This does not mean that communication is closed down — you still need to touch base from time to time, to see how projects are progressing (Ok, I can see them hardly doing anything but playing around--could they actually progress in a timely fashion without me hovering over them), and to check if the person has any questions. But he or she needs freedom to work within an open framework, to learn and grow (yep, yep, and yep). The end result is a strengthening of your firm. There’s no way your staff can develop and the firm can flourish if you are always there to meddle in the project and demonstrate the “correct” way to accomplish a task ( I do exactly this with my 15 yr old--the meddling mom!!)
  • It’s about trust. Your employees have to believe that you trust them to do a good job (I don't think I do trust them to do a good job...I guess this is bad :o ). But how can they do that if you’re always hovering over their shoulders, diving in to rescue them from themselves? If it’s inevitable that your staff’s decisions will be second-guessed, they will begin to feel frustrated and powerless (picture of my son when I come in to meddle). In addition, your employees (children)will learn that they will not be held accountable, and will soon stop trying to make any decisions at all.
  • If something’s wrong, fix it. If you have an employee who is indeed constantly doing things incorrectly, it may be time to clean house ( this is my goal....HELLO) and hire someone who can do the job properly (That would be nice!! Hey honey, I need a maid, babe!! This article said I need to hire someone). But first, see to it that your employees are fully trained and know everything they need to know to do their jobs well. Be certain you're communicating the duties of the job clearly (I confess sometimes I am hasty with my bad). Finally, keep in mind that some employees want to be micromanaged (I have a few children like this....hmmmm.....interesting). Just as you need to stay out of their way, your staff needs to remember the importance of making decisions on their own. (we have to work on this deal)
  • Beware of burnout. If you insist on meddling in a project, creating frustration and lack of accountability in your employees,(creating frustration in ALL OF US) and still attempt to shoulder all your other managerial responsibilities, you’re going to get tired. Really tired. (This is me on a daily basis....frustrated and fed up) And eventually, tiredness will progress to exhaustion and complete burnout (That's it!!! I quit or their fired!!!). At which point, you won’t care about micromanaging anymore. But at that point, of course, it will be too late (Not with Christ...there is always Redemption!!! This I do know. :D ) Don’t let events progress to that point.

The bottom line: a good manager is one who prepares, and then trusts employees, remembers that he or she is part of a team, (mi familia) and leads by example, not by doing everyone else’s work. Your staff will appreciate your efforts, and will feel a greater sense of personal accomplishment. And in the end, your business (my HOME) will thrive (Yes!!! \0/ I want this).

It was so much fun dissecting this article and relating it to my home managing skills. I learned about what not to do. It is going to take LOOOOTTTTSSSS of practice to not get FRUSTRATED with the little details they didn't take care of. Oh....LORD have Mercy!!!


Mrs. Taffy said...

Fantastic! I am totally the same way! My husband sticks up for me often and tells my children, "this is your mom's house, keep it the way she likes!" So when I ask them to do something for me I say, "pretend like you are me. Do it the way I would do it!" LOL! They can do it differently when it's their own house!!

By the way...I've been meaning to tell you this for a while...I'm so excited! It's a rather LONG and possibly interesting and possibly not story, but the bottom line is my husband told me he's considering taking us to Florida to visit my Dad (he lives in Ellenton), I don't know if that's close to you or not, but if we can work it out it would be so fun to hook up with you guys!! We are thinking winter, you know, to get a break from the FROZEN TUNDRA! Here's my email:
I'm just giddy with the idea!! I hope it works out!
Take Care and thanks for LOVE this week!


Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Loved your commentary! I was laughing out loud and nodding my head in a few places.

This is something I was terrible with in the beginning (I still struggle with these tendencies), but I'm learning to back off and let him do it his way as long as an acceptable job gets done. I tend to want perfection, so I have had to adjust my expectation of my son and realize he's only 5 and can't be expected to get every hair off the toilet when he's cleaning them. He's learning to do a good job cleaning, but it is because when he tells me he's done, I have him go back and self-inspect before I come in there to inspect. I ask him, "Am I going to be happy or sad when check your work?" This seems to help. I think it prepares them for real life where they will have to self-inspect their work before they turn it into their employer.

Great post! Thanks for sharing.

momto9 said...

a great and funny post! I am really honestly learning(or can I say learnED yet?) to NOt micromanage....soooooooo much more peaceful!