It's probably safe to say we've either worked with or for a micro-manager in our careers. If not, maybe it's possible we actually are the micro-manager. This style of management can cause confusion and frustration at the work place and within the work group. But there is a different style of management that can better guide and encourage people to successfully and efficiently perform their jobs: MACRO-managing. So this week I am sharing with you a few tips--the 10 Commandments--of macro management.
But before you read them, take a few moment to familiarize yourself with the terms below:
Sponsor (n.) = the person in charge
Agent = the person who reports to the Sponsor
Group = the people who report to the Agent
S.P.A. = Single Point Accountability; the "go-to” person for a particular project, area, group, etc.
Sponsor (v.) = establishing/supporting an agent’s position so that they can successfully supervise, promote change, etc.
The 10 Commandments of Macro-Managing
1. Sponsor (v.) your agents by communicating to the group your support and expectations.
2. Supervise your agents without hovering. Make it your practice to communicate any concerns or suggestions and to provide ongoing training with agents during regularly established meeting times.
3. Practice S.P.A! In general, communicate concerns, ideas, suggestions and expectations regarding the group only to your agents. Think of your agents as the “doorway” to the group – the way in which to access them.
4. Engage in M.B.W.A. (Management By Walking Around). Observe, ask questions and offer affirmation and praise. Save correction for private one-on-one conversations.
5. Unless disaster is about to occur, don’t jump in and “save the day.” Wait on it. Instead of fixing the situation or rescuing your agent from failure, discuss the issues later. Respond through debriefing after the fact instead of reacting in the moment. Experience and failure are the best ways for a person to learn: allow them this opportunity.
6. When approached by group members with questions, concerns or requests, unless the topic is within your area of S.P.A., refer them back to their direct supervisor (your agent).
7. When approached by group members with concerns regarding their direct supervisor, ask “Have you gone to that person?” If the answer is yes, ask “And what did s/he say?” Listen, but don’t make commitments or take a position. Express empathy but not agreement. Support your agent verbally. Meet with your agent to troubleshoot.
8. When approached by others from outside the particular sponsor/agent/group system with special requests, questions or concerns, when possible refer them to your agent (the person with S.P.A.). Treat agents as the experts within their area of S.P.A.
9. Never correct agents in front of the group, nor speak negatively about agents in front of the group.
10. Don’t make decisions within your agents’ areas of S.P.A. without prior discussion with them.