Software manager

How to be a good team lead and avoid Micromanaging

So you’ve been selected to lead a team and you’re excited about the opportunity. You should be! But managing a team comes with new ways of working that you haven’t experienced before. Even if you strive to be the best leader out there, there are subtle ways to become a poor manager. One of which is micromanaging talent.

Micromanaging means telling another person how to do every aspect of their job. This approach not only makes some people understandably angry but also makes them feel like their voice and approach isn’t valuable to the organization.

Great managers know when to let team members use their own approach towards their work. Instead of trying to be an all-star player, great managers are more like coaches for their teams.

In this article, we have listed four tips that will turn you away from micromanaging and towards being a great coach:


Be approachable and build authentic relationships

Being an approachable manager is critical. Building trust takes time and needs to be established before your team faces a challenge. This way, when they need your help, they will trust that they can reach out without hesitation.

They need to know that you have their back. Interact with them and learn how they are doing in a genuine way.  During your regular one-on-one, ask them about their career goals and make them confident that you will help and support them through getting there. Once in a while, take your team out for lunch or an outdoor event to show them you really care about them.


Ask your team what you can do to help

Instead of waiting impatiently for status updates (or jumping in and doing it yourself), ask your team what you can do to help/support them. This is a shared team goal.

Try something like this:

“Good morning everyone! Just wanted to check in on the progress to the user research report needed by the end of the week. What can I do to help? If you have questions or need clarity, I’m always available.”


Always remember to say “thank you”

Those two words can go a long way. Be genuine with the thank yous though, because too many dilute them.

Next time you’re passing a team member’s desk who recently did a great job, stop and acknowledge their hard work. Also, during the next team meeting, acknowledge their hard work so others can see and applaud them, it also serves as motivation to others.

This will make the person feel valued, respected and will keep them happy on your team for years to come.


Teach by example, but only when necessary

Sometimes you need to roll up your sleeves to help the team learn something new that’s required to get the job done. When you recognize there is a gap in the team’s skillset, don’t be critical or patronizing.

Instead, teach by example in a way that inspires the team to participate. Participation will make them feel like they are contributing and learning from the time they spend watching you teach them how to do something new.

For example: if there’s a complicated technical or product issue your team does not have enough knowledge about – instead of just doing the work, get the team in a room and show them how you approach solving the issue. Ask the team questions while you demonstrate to keep them engaged.


Visit eWorker to secure your next  Do you have more tips to add? Tell us in the comment section. Remember to share this with your friends to learn how to effectively be a team leader.

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