Brandon has a project manager who assigns tasks he doesn’t fully understand, micromanages him, and discourages him from asking questions. Emily has a project manager who rarely checks in with her and only communicates with her about her mistakes. Is your project management style somewhere in the middle of those two examples? Do you provide your team members with the necessary instruction and enough freedom to prove their mettle, while inserting a net underneath in case they fall?
Good managers maintain the right balance between micromanagement and too little management.
They let the team members come to their own conclusions when something just doesn’t gel, whether it’s an idea, a blog entry, a sale or a teamwork issue. They don’t sweat mistakes as much as they could because they've built a team that gives an earnest, determined effort, and takes important lessons from mistakes. Good managers build teams that inspire and earn belief in them. The manager and team also believes in the product, the service, the organization, and their own abilities.
There are plenty of people out there who will tell you how to be the best manager you can be, to provide the right tools to your team to get the job done. Some of it is easy – like choosing project management software that is compatible with your company’s goals and direction. And some of it is very hard – like putting trust in team members that you aren’t, for whatever reasons, entirely ready to trust.
I can’t help you with the managing part. I can encourage you to look to your own past or present situation and pick out people you worked for that made you feel smarter and more valuable than you did before. Think carefully about their management methods and styles, and see what you can take away to inspire your own change. Then, start putting what you've learned into practice!