6 Simple Tips to Successfully Influence Your Team (without micromanaging)

Do you have trouble letting go of control when work is delegated to someone else? Have you wondered if you are micromanaging a situation when you should be letting go? Read the article below for six tips on how to shift away from being a micromanager and towards being a team influencer.

“It takes tremendous discipline to control the influence, the power you have over other people’s lives.” – Clint Eastwood

6 Simple Tips to Successfully Influence Your Team (without micromanaging)

By Angie Morgan

I had to fight some pretty powerful instincts a few weeks ago.

While working with a colleague (the highly accomplished Sean Lynch) on a project, we realized that we needed to follow up with our client to clarify a few details. Sean mentioned that he was going to send out an email to get the answers. When we hung up the phone, I had a few more ideas on what needed to go into that email. I sat at my keyboard, started typing up my notes to Sean in hopes that he received my email before he sent his out and then I thought … Wait!! Am I micromanaging? Are these notes really that important? Or, is it me trying to control the process? Is it me trying to make Sean be like me? I then weighed some facts: Sean’s amazing. He’s a Yale graduate. The Air Force trusted him to fly jets. Delta Airlines made him responsible for thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of passengers. He’s been on our team for several years. What am I doing?

I then re-read the email*. Yes! Classic Angie Morgan. Trying to control the process. Ugh. I knew I had to let it go.

It then made me reflect a bit more on how these controlling tendencies have helped – and hurt – me in my life. And it reminded me that when working with a team, there are a few important rules to abide by:

  1. Trust that everyone is trying to do their best
  2. Acknowledge that there are always better ways of doing things
  3. Know that not everyone is like you … and that’s not only okay, it’s great
  4. When coaching, coach to result – not to process (because you don’t always have the best process)
  5. People value autonomy – no one enjoys being micromanaged
  6. Check in with yourself frequently to see if you’re the annoying colleague who wants to micromanage everyone … and, then, stop micromanaging everyone

Self-evaluation is critical to helping you grow and develop as a leader. I’m glad I got a chance to reflect a bit on my tendencies – I highly encourage you to do the same! You can start by asking your trusted colleagues, “What do I do that annoys others?” And if they don’t have a good answer, go to a family member or close friend – they will be sure to enlighten you.

*Sean’s email was perfect – better written than anything I could have done.

This article was provided courtesy of Lead Star – a premiere leadership development firm. You can learn more about leadership by visiting their website at www.leadstar.us


Micromanaging often shows up when you aren’t comfortable with a situation, person or project. Next time you notice that you are micromanaging, what action will you take? Please tell us in the comments section below.