Blind Trust Or Micromanagement? 14 Ways For New Managers To Strike A Balance

New managers who feel unsure about how to inspire team members to perform at a high level will sometimes tighten their grip on their team’s projects. Unfortunately, trying to control all of the moving pieces from your limited perspective is not a good way to build trust with your new team.

As a new manager, how can you strike a healthy balance between blindly trusting your team members to do their jobs well and managing them too closely in an effort to ensure nothing slips?

With the following advice from 14 members of Forbes Coaches Council, you can learn how to become more confident in your new position and trust your team to do their best work without a lot of input from you.

1. Inspect What You Expect

Rather than inspecting everything, take time to inspect those actions, interactions, work and skills that are most important to achieving the desired goals. Mix it up and establish times every week when you will spend time in the operation, working alongside your team to observe, coach and learn. Get your team used to the idea that you will regularly inspect what is expected. – Shane Green, SGEi

2. Encourage Employees To Make Mistakes

Create a culture where employees are encouraged to be bold, innovative and collaborative and make mistakes. Additionally, clearly communicate job expectations so that everyone understands their role. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, managers must model the behavior they expect from their team. – Kaleth Wright, Air Force Aid Society

3. Set Clear Expectations

What does success look like? How will you know you are there? The manager needs to understand the team’s behavioral hardwiring to know how much or how little they need to get involved with check-ins, details and timelines. Once you get clarity on both points, focus on accountability and your approach will be clear. – Shelley Smith, Premier Rapport

4. Analyze Your Default View Of People

What is your default way of viewing people? Are they capable and reliable or do they need direction? What view is most effective for your industry, employees and employer? Thinking that everyone needs direction results in micromanaging. Thinking that everyone is competent can result in costly mistakes. Be intentional about finding the right balance for each individual and adjust as needed. – Ron Young, Trove, Inc.

5. Gather Honest Feedback For All Managers

Micromanagers can suck the life out of any organization, so identifying them is important. Over-delegation is also challenging. The best way to strike a healthy balance is to have a process that provides timely and honest feedback to all managers to aid them in understanding their impact on those they work with. Having this in place enables these managers to adjust in a timely manner. – Dan Ryan, ryan partners

6. Use Agile Solutions To Achieve Transparency

Achieve radical transparency around tasks and goals using agile software solutions. When everyone sees everyone else’s productivity in action, it becomes apparent when someone isn’t moving their projects along. It also helps people see that they may be blocking the productivity of someone else by not moving their own work forward. As a leader of a startup, I would not work without this level of transparency. – Pam Boney,

7. Show You Are There To Support Your Team

Showing you are there to support—not manage—your team is key to building a strong working relationship from the beginning. I always tell my new team members that I am there as a resource to help them to hit their individual and team goals and KPIs. This gives the ownership to them and builds a respectful relationship surrounding a single goal: getting the desired outcome. – Zander Fryer, High Impact Coaching

8. Understand The Dynamics Of The Team

You first want to understand the core competencies, experience and different personality styles on the team. This can help you determine the levels of trust and direct management that will be required. It’s critical to set expectations and measurable goals early on. Based on the outcomes, you can determine the intensity of supervision required. – Erica McKenzie, Creative Brands & Concepts

9. Make Sure People Know To Expect Check-Ins

Schedule check-in meetings as part of your delegation process. A huge misconception about micromanagement is that it is the same as checking in. People only feel micromanaged when the check-in or follow-up is unexpected. If new managers set clear expectations, including when and how they will check in on the progress of a project, they can avoid being labeled a micromanager. – Rachael Bosch, Fringe Professional Development

10. Provide Clarity Around Decision-Making Authority

Establish a clear picture of what success looks like in this role. Provide clarity around authority in terms of what decisions team members can make without permission. Also, come to an agreement on success metrics and determine points of accountability to make sure things are on track. Ensure that you sufficiently train them on processes so that they know what to do and how to do it. – Michael Mirau, ProActive Leadership Group

11. Make Accountability Part Of The Culture

Instilling ownership and accountability into the culture of the organization can assist in striking a healthy balance between trust and micromanagement. As a new manager, ensure that you leave each planning or review meeting with clear expectations of what success looks like and who is taking responsibility. This shifts the new leader away from being a micromanager and toward serving in the capacity of a coach. – Bryan Powell, Executive Coaching Space

12. Lead With Mindfulness And Self-Awareness

Developing the ability to lead with self-awareness and influence the results while being mindful of the team’s relationship dynamics is an introspective journey every new manager must take. Mastering the art of goal setting and affording the team opportunities to test flexible approaches helps strike the right balance and builds trust. Guiding the team toward sustainable, value-congruent choices is key. – Kasthuri Henry, KasHenry Inc

13. Implement A Good Project Management System

Implementing a good project management system that allows the manager to see where progress is taking place and which areas need to improve without having to call or check on the person or team is key. Building an effective communication channel with new members of the team is the key to building trusting relationships based on transparency and clear information. – Michelle de Matheu, The Mind, Body & Soul Stylist

14. Be Transparent From The Star

You are learning about each team member, each project and the work itself. The best way to learn is through observation and by using discovery questions. With each team member, co-create a cadence for check-ins and decide what will be discussed. Reinforce that your intention is to support learning and collaboration. The frequency of meetings will change over time and depending on the situation. – Amy Lafko, Cairn Consulting Services

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1. Combine Gifts, Passions And Innovation

Know who you are today by doing a fresh analysis of your gifts and passions. Use the results of your analysis as your lens for identifying unmet needs in the business world. Think outside the box by breaking away from conventional wisdom. Combining your gifts and passions with innovative ideas is foundational to a successful business that meets your and your consumers’ needs. – Ron Young, Trove, Inc.

2. Gain Clarity And Choose Metrics For Success

I’ve had numerous pro-service clients do this, and most of them have considered it. The most important thing is to have clarity about why you want to start a business. The second thing is to very carefully choose the metrics that will indicate to yourself that you are succeeding. Your “why” and your metrics will keep you grounded when the going gets tough—and it will. – Randy Shattuck, The Shattuck Group

3. Leverage Your Experience And Do A SWOT Analysis

Know your strengths, be clear on your personal motivation and leverage your current experience and insights that you have developed over the years in your industry. Think about the pains and gains your clients have experienced and gaps that have not been filled. I also recommend doing a SWOT analysis to gain clarity and alignment and to determine the value proposition. – Breshana Miller, Kairos Coaching & Consulting, LLC

4. Brainstorm With Close Friends

You can’t hesitate or keep your new business too close to your chest. You need to brainstorm with your closest friends, your professional network and those whom you trust. Bounce your ideas off of others and see if they resonate. What do they think your new business is worth? Who do they think the customers would be? Do they know someone who would buy? Have that conversation 100 times and get to work. – Jacob Warwick, ThinkWarwick

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5. Match The Commercial Proposition With The Value You Offer

It is important to match the commercial proposition with the value that you are offering. Before leaving, start researching the potential market to ensure there is a real need. When you are clear on the commercial viability, you can reverse-engineer the process to ensure the proposition fits with your personal drive and passion. – Claudine Reid, PJ’s Community Service

6. Have A Strong Support System In Place

Being an entrepreneur and working for a corporation require different mindsets. To sustain the personal drive and passion, it helps to have a strong support system in place—people who are just as passionate and driven as you and believe in the success of the new business, such as friends, a mastermind group or an experienced coach who can ensure there is a balance between work and personal well-being. – Masha Malka, The One Minute Coach

7. Don’t Follow Your Passion—Bring It To An Opportunity

Don’t follow your passion. I’d rather you bring your passion and drive to an opportunity. The first step is finding a way to improve lives in exchange for profit, then apply your natural passion and drive to improve as many of those lives as possible as efficiently as possible. Because when you do that really well, vision, momentum, growth and, eventually, profit are the results. – David Robertson, Growthpoint Coaching Co.

8. Leverage What Makes You Irreplaceable

You need to clarify the market need for what you do via research, interviews and more. In regard to fulfilling your own needs, a reflective, holistic approach is required to uncover your own personal wants, needs and values to be successful. And above all else, you must uncover something that makes you irreplaceable in the market that you serve. Get all those right and then go for it! – Linda Martin, Linda Martin Results

9. Connect With Your Four Selves

First connect with your four selves—intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical—and be crystal clear about your purpose and commitment to it. Launching a new venture requires all your energy and commitment. Sometimes, it’s rough. Second, get deep input and feedback from those around you—both your trusted network and your more fearless critics. The wider the scope, the richer the insights. – Luis Costa, Luis Costa – coach · facilitator · speaker

10. Enroll Clients To Help Craft Your Company Vision

Get connected to your purpose, build a business plan around your core values and enroll the customers you want to serve to help craft the company vision. In doing this, you will likely find that your needs and the needs of your future customers are very aligned. Trust that a successful launch will follow and that you will have a tribe of allies ready to offer guidance and support when needed. – Emily Rogers, Emily Rogers Consulting + Coaching

11. Outline The Customer Journey And Your Sales Funnel

First, outline the customer journey to define the scope of their need. Second, outline your marketing and sales funnel. If you are not excited to do that, hire someone who is or don’t launch. If the idea of selling and marketing for hours every week does not excite you, pursue a hobby instead. Third, if you don’t have the drive or passion to build a business, get a dog. The dog will love you back every day. – Kelly Tyler Byrnes, Voyage Consulting Group

12. Experiment With A Minimum Viable Product

Take small steps. Too many people get sucked into the entrepreneurial dream without realizing how tough it can be. I would suggest experimenting with the product—take a minimum viable product (MVP) to the market and get feedback. Leaning on your personal drive, experiment with your own business identity. Too many people overestimate their passion and drive and underestimate the challenge. – Devika Das, CORE Executive Presence

13. Take An Inside-Out Approach

Start with your mission and vision. I believe, as a coach, taking an inside-out approach where executives can start exploring their passion as well as what they would see as success for this new endeavor is key. Then, we can explore the marketplace and how this would be sustained as a successful business by developing a strategic business plan. Allow your personal drive to set the tone for success. – Bryan Powell, Executive Coaching Space

14. Build A Business Around Your Retirement Dreams

Start by thinking about your retirement. If you grew your business and sold it for a killing, what would you then be doing in life? At that point, when you wouldn’t have to think about money and profits, what would you be doing with your time? That’s what you should build your business around. It’s bound to be an area where a strong customer or market need is coupled with your own passion and drive. – Vinesh Sukumaran, Vinesh Sukumaran Consulting

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