How to escape the soul crushing cycle – Business News (Trending Perfect)


Step 1: Expectations are not met. This occurs when a manager has expectations, whether spoken or unspoken, that are not met by a team member. One of the main reasons for not meeting expectations is not communicating them clearly.

Brene Brown refers to this as “hidden expectations,” where someone has expectations of someone, but fails to communicate them. So when an employee doesn't meet these expectations, the manager begins to question the quality of their work, which leads us to the next step.

Step 2: Trust is broken. Once expectations are not met, trust begins to wane. The manager begins to closely monitor and examine the work.

They have become less of a leader and more of a quality control officer. The more time someone spends looking for problems, the more problems they find, which brings us to the worst part of the cycle.

Step 3: Trust decreases. The worst thing about micromanagement is that it erodes employee confidence. When a manager criticizes small details, employees begin to question themselves, their decisions, and their work. This leads to fear of failure, low productivity, and the final stage of the cycle.

Step 4: More errors. It's simple HR math – lack of trust + controlling leadership = more mistakes. You can see how we are stuck in a vicious circle. The more mistakes an employee makes, the greater the need for micromanagement. And so the cycle of soul destruction continues.


But the good news: This cycle can be broken. Here's how:

Leaders who are stuck in the cycle need to realign themselves with their teams. They need to reset expectations and rebuild trust.

First, managers and team members must put all unspoken expectations on the table. Ellie Middleton's “what, why, when” method works very well for setting clear expectations:

  1. What you need your team member to do
  2. Why do you need it?
  3. When should this be done?

Your goal is to be clear about outcomes but flexible in how people reach those outcomes.

Next, managers must rebuild trust. One way to do this is to agree on how to deal with problems before you have a problem. If a deadline can't be met or important details are missed, create a plan to solve the problem.

Managers who acknowledge that mistakes will happen but have strategies for resolving them build trust. They also give their employees clarity on how to escalate issues.

Micromanagement is a soul-crushing art and a vicious cycle. If you're stuck in the middle, it's time to hit reset.



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