Avoiding micro-managing as a new manager

Aug 21, 2023 by manish

As a new manager, how to avoid micro-managing?

Last week I got an opportunity to be on the panel talking to new engineering managers at Asana.

One of the questions that came up was “As a new manager, how to avoid micro-managing?” This is definitely something I went through as a new manager. Here is the summary of our discussion.

🦹‍♂️ Some times tendency to micro-manage stems from a “been there, done that” mindset where the manager thinks there is only one way to succeed.

🧠 Open up your mind to understand that people can accomplish the same result with a very different approach. That’s where autonomy comes in.

🕵️‍♂️ Some times tendency to micro-manage stems from a “lack of trust” where the manager is not sure about direct report’s competency level.

👩‍💻 Develop a good understanding of your team members’ skill levels. Your level of involvement should change based on the skill level of the individual for a given task.

🥵 In addition to impacting your team, if you micromanage everything, it can burn you out as a manager. If you feel the need to micro-manage something, ask yourself “how can I uplevel someone on the team so I don’t have to micro-manage this again?”

⚖️ So micro managing is not necessarily bad. What’s bad is — blindly staying hands-off all the time or not giving autonomy to competent team members.