No one wants to be micromanaged, and no leader wants to be called a micromanager. But if leaders are not following up with their teams regularly, misalignment and ineffective prioritization are predictable.
Casual conversations in the hallway, a comment in a meeting, or a sentence in an email may be understood as an order by the subordinate, and as just-a-thought by the leader. Or those same comments may be considered just the leader’s thought at the time by the subordinate, and a high priority action item by the leader.
If misalignment is more common in your organization than you would choose, disciplined follow up is one easy means of eliminating much of it. If you have 1:1 meetings with your team regularly, that is a great opportunity to review their tasks and priorities, see what help or clarification may be needed, and make any adjustments the two of you see fit.
If you don’t have scheduled 1:1 meetings, or even worse, don’t keep most of those, it’s time for leadership discipline there as well.
There is absolutely nothing close to micromanaging about reviewing priorities, needs, and progress. There is absolutely nothing close to effective leadership in dropping by frequently to examine the details of your teams’ activities.
Disciplined follow up requires mutual respect and trust. Micromanaging reflects lack of respect and trust by leadership, and promotes the return of those undesirable feelings.