The transition to hybrid working has stumped today’s managers on how to intervene constructively. For example, when colleagues are not co-located, leaders are more likely to check in too frequently, interrupting the team’s workflow. Here are three methods for managers to walk the fine line between offering hands-on support instead of unwanted help.

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“Step in” wisely

Research shows that micromanaging can have a devastating impact on organisations as people develop adverse reactions to unsolicited guidance. To avoid this outcome, leaders can time their intervention wisely. Instead of jumping in as soon as a problem surfaces, non-micromanagers weigh the situation carefully. These managers “understand that people are more willing to welcome assistance when they’re already engaged in a task and have experienced its challenges first-hand,” advises a Harvard Business Review article. Discover here how micromanagement kills any remote team and what to do about it.

Clarify your role

Even when the timing is right, leaders can face backlash if team members do not understand management’s involvement in the first place. When a manager “steps in”, it can often imply that workers are doing something wrong. However, if leaders explain that the aim is to help the team accomplish their goals – not to judge or criticise their performance – members will be less inclined to resist the help. Here’s how to create a psychologically safe environment to encourage an open and collaborative culture.

Align yourself to others

To deliver the best help, leaders must engage in the complexity of the problem. This will also help managers determine if the issue requires intensive, long-term guidance or intermittent, short-term support. By providing the correct type of assistance, leaders can improve the team’s long-term performance. Discover 15 ways leaders can give guidance without overstepping boundaries.