A tendency to micromanage can strike even the most well-meaning leaders. They may want to produce the best work but feel the need to review and redo every item. Or, they may have difficulty delegating, preferring instead to do the work themselves. Whatever the circumstances, micromanaging can negatively impact the whole team by stifling creativity and crushing employees’ confidence.

When it comes to micromanagers, consultant and author Marlene Chism says they fall into one of two groups: those who know they micromanage and those who don’t. In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we share some tips from Chrism on how leaders can get on the same page as employees and begin to overcome the need to micromanage.

1. Put a plan in writing. Think about the deadline, responsibilities, shareholders involved and other details in any given project. Then, put together a written agreement that outlines everything. Chism says this can provide focus and prevent guesswork or rework. Written agreements prevent the back and forth, scope creep and disappointments that happen when there’s a lack of clarity or a lack of trust, she says.

2. Book some check-ins. What are some benchmarks you could add to your calendar? When these are added at the beginning of the project, they can help alleviate the “are we there yet” conversations that can make employees feel like they aren’t trusted. Chism says designated check-in dates also serve as a reminder to use this time for communicating about unexpected obstacles and needed tweaks.

3. Create systems of accountability. Micromanagement isn’t the same as accountability. Leaders will sometimes have to initiate difficult conversations about performance or behavior, Chism says. Don’t let the fear of being called a micromanager keep you from holding your team members accountable. She recommends documenting coaching conversations and setting up follow-up dates to ensure progress is being made.

4. Don’t blindside your staff. Chism says it’s never a good idea to hold your comments until an annual performance review. You owe it to your employees to stop blindsiding them by waiting until a formal review to share your concerns or feedback. You might risk being called a micromanager if you have more frequent conversations, but it’s critical to keep open communication flowing in all directions across your company.

Micromanaging ends up doing more harm than good — for leaders and their teams. To overcome this harmful habit, remember to document plans in writing and set aside time for regular check-ins. Keep your team accountable and talk to them openly and honestly. By tamping down any micromanagement tendencies, you can begin to create a culture of empowerment and trust.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Marlene Chism is a consultant, executive educator and the author of From Conflict to Courage: How to Stop Avoiding and Start Leading. She is a recognized expert on the LinkedIn Global Learning platform.