Being Micro Managed?


You Micro Manager! Yes you. Repeat after me…I will not micromanage. I will not micromanage. I will not micromanage. These are the best words of caution for new managers.

Micromanagement is a management style whereby a manager closely observes or controls the work of subordinates or employees. Micromanagement generally has a negative connotation. Wiki

I was asked the question why some managers feel it necessary to micro manage. Reflecting on that I decided to share through this post.

Managers who micromanage makes coming to work a nightmare. Micro Management is the practice of managing with excessive control or attention to detail. It tells employees that there is a lack of trust. Essentially that the manager has little confidence in his/her team and their capabilities. Often it drives the team away and what is worse, it is the organization’s most talented people who frequently walk away. The company is then left with those workers who will simply show up for a ‘paycheck’. No commitment, no care.

Signs of Micro Management

If you are a micro manager, Harvard Business shared signs that can be seen:

  • You’re never quite satisfied with deliverables
  • You often feel frustrated because you would have gone about the task differently
  • You laser in on the details and take price and/or pain in making corrections
  • You constantly want to know where all your team members are and what they are working on
  • You ask for frequent updates on where things stand
  • You prefer to be cc’d on emails

As a manager, this is certainly grounds for disaster. You will either drive your team crazy or stress yourself out with the inevitable burn out.

How to Manage:

As a new manager if you find yourself micro managing here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Don’t be afraid to fail. At its very core is the feeling that if you don’t do things yourself, things are going to fail. Not so. This is a myth. Sometimes failure is good. It helps us learn and grow, and our teams may end up with the belief that you are ‘human’. They will work together with you to achieve the results. Essentially, you will win.

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  • Focus on the ‘what’ not the ‘how’. I am a firm believer in sharing the organization and your department’s goal with your team.  Doing so stimulates their creativity and provides solutions that you may not have considered.
  • Let it go. The difference between managing and micromanaging is in the ‘micro’. Let go of watching people. Here’s how:

-Look at your to-do list to see which task can be passed on or delegated to those reporting to you.

-Engage your team. Let them know what level of detail you expect from them and where they need to connect with you.

-Think Big. Focus on the big issues that you need to concentrate on and place your energy and attention on those.

Being Micro-Managed?

If you are being micro-managed, Research Psychologist Dr. Peggy Drexler suggests a few pointers you can use to remain sane:

  • Do your job well.
  • Ask how you’re doing
  • Be a proactive communicator. Copy supervisor on emails. Keep him/her up to date on your activities before being asked.
  • Teach him/her how to delegate. Volunteer to help with tasks or projects and keep your manager abreast of the progress.

Practicing these points will help you succeed. The converse is also true. Continuing to micro manage is Ancient…a thing of the past where autocratic leadership was game. Doing this now is sure grounds for disaster.

So it’s your choice. Choose wisely and experience success.

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Author: Dr. Shelly C

Dr. Shelly Cameron is an Author, Speaker, and Coach. She has researched the topic of Success and written 3 books on Success Strategies and Leadership. Her research on the Leadership Challenge was published in the Journal of American Academy of Business Cambridge (JAABC). She now uses the results of her research to connect others to Success. Connect with her at www.shellycameron.com

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