How do you know if you’re giving members of your herd the right amount of support? I want to make sure the people who work with me feel like I care and I’ve got their back. But I don’t want to come across as being to involved in their business, or even worse, micro-managing. In the past, I’ve been given feedback that I get too involved in what’s going on with people and need to pull back. But being caring and compassionate is part of my personality! How do I walk the line between support and smothering?
World’s Nicest Micro-Manager
This is a conundrum that we in the horse herd never deal with. Do you want to know why? Of course you do! Here’s the deal…because we are extremely clear with each other about our role in the herd, and who is responsible for what, we have no need to micro-manage or over support. In fact, those things would be detrimental to our safety. If I was too busy managing how my friend Levi eats grass, I might miss the mountain lion coming over the hill. Yes, it’s true what they say; you have to keep your eye on your own flake of hay, and a peripheral eye on everyone else’s.
Humans seem to equate being nice with being supportive. I think they’re totally different things. Support can be a lot of things; it can be feedback, it can be mentoring, it can be a wise word, it can be leaving people alone – which shows you TRUST what they’re doing.
If I were you (which, btw, I’m SO glad I’m not) I would do some really deep searching inside yourself. There’s clearly a reason you want to make sure people feel supported by you. Maybe you care too much about what people think? Maybe you want people to like you? Maybe deep down inside, you don’t trust what people are doing at work? I think if you spend some time really understanding what over-supporting others is giving you, you’ll be ready to tackle the problem in a new way.
Speaking of which, that’s enough support from me. I’m off to greener pastures.