A new study by neuroscience professor Amy Arnsten at Yale University indicates how much people benefit by being in charge of their own decisions. Arnsten discovered that when people lose their sense of control – like when they’re told what to do or have instructions dictated to them, the brain actually experiences a drop in cognitive functioning – presumably leading to a drop in productivity.
However, if a leader presents a long-term goal and then leaves it up to his team to make their own decisions about how to achieve that goal – then cognitive function dramatically improves – along with productivity.
The bottom line? Micromanaging actually decreases performance and productivity because it decreases an employee’s brain function. And yet – leaders continue to micromanage their team. We’ve known for years that this type of leadership style undermines productivity (not to mention drives employees crazy) and now we actually have research that proves the point.
Lose your ego and stop micromanaging. Determine goals, and then allow allow your team the creative space to make their own decisions on how to get there. Become a collaborator, not a dictator. Not only will it improve their morale, but it will improve your bottom line as well.
Have you experienced the frustrations of being micromanaged? How did you cope?