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.
- 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.
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.
A Candle must be lit to burn.
There is no such thing as a lifetime career any more. The world of work is now much more fluid than it was before. The lines have certainly been blurred. Gone are the days of jobs for life where you did your time and left with a secure Glaring pension to enjoy retirement with no Argument. You now need to take responsibility for your job security and the management of your career. Make sure you discover and use your internal resources and take a self-directing approach.
Reinventing yourself is something that you must keep doing. Dr. Robert Davies offered good advice on 10 key points to success.
- Focus on your personal development. Spend some time thinking about the competencies. What are the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to survive in this era.
Always have a driving vision. Consider these 3 components:
- Have clear mental picture of the person that you want to be.
- A clear development agenda to help you get there
- A clear definition of the contribution you want to make to society.
- Schedule a reinvention exercise for yourself every 3 years. Change with the times and avoid becoming obsolete.
- Make a commitment to learn something notable each month. If you are not learning something is wrong with the way you are managing your job and yourself.
- Be concerned if you don’t make any mistakes. This is not for you to go out and deliberately make mistakes. But if you are not making mistakes, you are not doing anything different. Treat failure as a learning experience and a platform to start a new chapter.
- Never accept mainstream popular thinking without challenging it in your mind . Carve out time to challenge, research, and think differently.
- Be confident. Never let anyone take that from you. But be quietly incompetent.
- Keep an achievement diary. How has your work benefited others? Maintain an updated Resume.
- Invest in your network.
- Help others. Remember there will be a time when you yourself will also need help.
Need help? Let’s connect!
Fake it til you make it.
Act the part.
Practice makes perfect
Just do it.
Success for sure.
Is pretending wrong? Is it wrong to Pretend that all is well in the midst of a loss? In the midst of fear? In the midst of turmoil, and pain? Is it wrong to pretend that we too can succeed at all we put our minds to? To achieve a great feat that in our real minds we would be afraid to do? Is it wrong?
Maybe not. If pretense is what we have to do to come outside of ourselves to achieve our dreams, goals, and aspirations, I’d say go for it! Because…one day it will be for real!
Hold strong…be all you can be…and succeed!
There are many who act like toxins that poison our careers, dreams, goals, and aspirations
Why does she always have to be mean? Why can’t he understand? Why is it so hard for my boss to get it? Why does she have to always be so …. toxic!
Yes, Toxic. Indeed, it is a strong word which means pertaining to, affected with, or caused by a toxin, or poison. That is the meaning attributed to the word. Sad when it is used to describe an individual’s behavior. But truth be told, there are many who act like toxins that poison our careers, dreams, goals, and aspirations. Year in year out, time and again they poison our ability to succeed. Yet why do so many choose to stick around such people? Toxic people are offensive, and people hate being around them.
So in order to succeed, we must get away from them. It is difficult when you work directly with such individuals, but when you choose them as your ‘Generous‘ friends, it’s a sure recipe for disaster.
Traits of Toxic People
Selected here are eight (8) of the characteristics described by Dr. Lillian Glass, Expert in Human Behavior. As alluded, if you see yourself in any of the traits, don’t Panic! Simply recognize the trait(s) and start the process to do something about it. But first, brace yourselves and let’s try to understand the various characteristics.
- The Cut-You-Downer is arrogant, mean, belittling, bitchy, hateful, self-righteous, condescending, threatened, superior, insecure, offensive, critical, sarcastic, disrespectful, underhanded, and fault-finding. They have little self-esteem and will find fault with you and with everyone else. They love to belittle, taunt, ridicule, others. They cut others down so they can build themselves up.
- The Self-Destroyer is victim-like, unrealistic, weak, unstable, sabotaging, rejecting, negative, threatened, selfish, lifeless, desperate, unappreciative, depressed, defiant, rebellious, and out of control. They hate themselves so much that they constantly tear themselves down and harp on what’s wrong with them, while berating themselves. They usually say things like “I’m so stupid”; “that was dumb of me”; or “I’m the worst.” In essence, self-destroyers try to cut themselves down before anyone else has a chance to do it. They hardly ever accept compliments and will negate any nice or kind words that come their way. They can be so full of self-loathing that they will become alcoholics, foodaholics, drug abusers, etc. Essentially self-destroyers don’t think they are worthy of good things or deserve anything positive in life.
- The Gossip is indiscreet, insecure, fault-finding, false, belittling, quick to place blame, brazen, hypocritical, competitive, hurtful, self-righteous, shallow, sharp-tongued, skeptical, sneaky, imposing, adversarial, conspiratorial, critical, disloyal, meddling, mean-spirited, offensive, and angry. The gossip loves to spread stories even embellish them, and may invent stories of his or her own. The gossip is usually a nosy person whose biggest pleasure is telling you about someone else’s misfortunes. He might find pleasure in telling stories about others. Gossips generally have very little going on in their own lives. So they want to be accepted and to feel important so they bring you the latest news (real or imagined).
- The Gloom and Doom Victim is masochistic, guilt-ridden, worrisome, sabotaging, resentful, rigid, selfish, rejecting, sad, negative, petty, fault-finding, paranoid, stubborn, whiny, weak, defeatist, unimaginative, self-destructive, fearful, solemn, cowardly, depressed, skeptical, unappreciative, suspicious, lifeless, lethargic, lackadaisical, defensive, and depressed. Gloom and Doom victims are depressing to be around. Their energy really zaps you as they tell you how horrible life is, has been, and will be for them. They aim to make you feel sorry for them, but they have no interest in any advice you offer. Their preference is to wallow in self-pity, certain that the world has done them in and everybody has done them wrong. Nothing ever goes right for them. Maybe it’s because their glass is always half empty rather than half full. They blame everyone but themselves when anything goes wrong in their lives.
- The opportunistic User is selfish, interfering, manipulative, back-stabbing, brown-nosing, secretive, indirect, disloyal, conspiratorial, dishonest, sneaky, unappreciative, underhanded, tenacious and seductive. Opportunistic users are out for themselves alone. They are fair weather friends who want you in their life only when it is convenient for them—when they can benefit. These people will do anything to get ahead. If they can benefit from someone or have benefited all they can, they discard the person like a used paper towel, without a second thought.
- The Me, Myself, and I Narcissist is selfish, egomaniacal, lacking in self-confidence, shallow, insecure, arrogant, boring, limited, socially inept, exhausting, obnoxious, flamboyant, self-centered, indiscreet, and a show-off. They have only one thing in mind—themselves. They are the most self-centered individuals anyone can encounter. They don’t want to talk about or do anything unless it pertains to them. They want to hear about your issues only if it affects them. Their vocabularies are filled with the words “me”, “myself”, and “I”. Trying to have a conversation with a narcissist can be the most frustrating experience you will ever have, because they speak a monologue instead of a give-and-take dialogue.
- The Competitor is provocative, fearless, fanatical, obnoxious, paranoid, offensive, pushy, aggressive, resentful, sabotaging, conniving, intense, intimated, defensive, confrontational, threatened, untrustworthy, negative, insecure, argumentative, and always looking for a fight. Competitors seek every opportunity to outwit or surpass others. Everything is a competition from getting a job to getting a boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife. Competitors tend to be show-offs and braggarts who gloat about their achievements—both past and present. They constantly try to impress you with how much better they are than you. In essence they have such low self-esteem that the only way they can relate to you is by turning everything into a contest.
- The Control Freak is invasive, sabotaging, rigid, manipulative, arrogant, aggressive, forceful, backstabbing, self-righteous, meddlesome, confrontational, inflexible, egotistical, obstinate, pushy, unreasonable, stubborn, selfish, unaware, threatened, disrespectful, uncommunicative, and stubborn. Control freaks can never let go. Like bullies, they are immobilized if not in control. However, unlike bullies, they don’t always use anger or meanness to get what they want. Control freaks often use sweet talk and manipulation. They are not team players and have difficulty delegating authority, as they try to do everything themselves. If things don’t go their way, they get angry or lose interest, for they feel they must always be in charge. Their lives are filled with frustration and disappointment and never go with the flow. Instead, they force things to happen and when things don’t go their rigid way they panic and become angry or more manipulative.
Did any of these traits remind you of someone you knew? If so what effect has it had on your success? Maybe it’s time for a change.
We show up everyday doing a job that we don’t like, and then feel like we are losing our mind when we are expected to be productive and profitable.
Get angry! Tell them off on national TV-like that famous weather reporter did! Give them a piece of your mind-like that flight attendant did, then de-planed! Or quietly sneak away never to return again, which unfortunately happens too often.
Though we may smile at these examples, they are real life situations that actually happened. As a HR consultant, I have worked with clients that have had these experiences and more. Because we spend most of our time at work, it would be great for us to really like what we do, and who we have to work with.
Vincent Van Gogh said that he put his heart and soul into his work and lost his mind in the process. How many of us really feel that way? We show up everyday doing a job that we don’t like, and then feel like we are losing our mind when we are expected to be productive and profitable. It’s hard. But we keep at it if we are to cover our basic needs to survive, thrive, or for those at the higher levels, fulfill our higher need to self-actualize.
STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH A BAD BOSS
If you have a bad boss…see qualities in 23 signs you have a Bad Boss, it is not likely that you are going to change them. So here are a few strategies to help you take the steps to work better with him or her.
- Have an early, upfront conversation about what is important to you in a leader and how you can best work together. In a civil manner, discuss things such as:
- Leadership style and the coaching you would need to develop.
- Expectations. What he/she expects from you, and what you expect.
- Perception. How each of you perceive “success” with regard to the job.
- What “meets expectations” or “exceeds expectations” look like on the performance-rating continuum.
- Your current performance
- Be proactive and check in with him or her often to provide reports, or updates.
- Acknowledge them publicly for their support, especially when they have been instrumental in helping you succeed.
- If problems occur that escalate, have a conversation with the HR manager to ensure that any complaints are logged. HR will take the necessary steps to help resolve the issue and can serve as a mediator in future meetings.
- If 360-degree feedback systems, and other anonymous options are in place in your organization, do use them to provide input regarding your concerns.
- Keep a record of dates, times, and specific examples of issues that have occurred so that you will be able to recall them when necessary.
Essentially, do your best to try to work with the situation you are charged with at the moment. Nothing lasts forever. Things do change sometimes. But by all means, if the horizon really looks bleak in that company, then start the process to move on, especially if it starts to negatively affect your health. Start the job change process to search for a new opportunity. Take the steps to:
- Update your Resume
- Refresh your LinkedIn Profile
- Connect with a Recruiter
- Consider other career options
It’s important to heed the caution before you make such Radical change….Making irrational decisions then saying “oh wait”, will be too late. So be cautioned that you never leave a job without first finding another one. It will be well worth it in the long run.
We have all had to deal with bad bosses at one time or the other throughout our career. We scream, complain, lose the Zing, become demotivated, do barely enough to get by, or inevitably jump ship. If you are dealing with a bad boss here are a few examples of characteristics that depicts the behavior.
Common Bad Boss Behavior
- Lack of vision and inability to communicate effectively
- Thinking you have all the answers and that you must have all the answers
- Working late everyday
- Poor Hiring Decisions
- Failure to Admit Mistakes
- Takes the credit but gives the blame
- Does not Lead by Example
- My way or the high way
- Mistakes being liked for being respected
- Provides little/no feedback or coaching
- Shows favoritism
- Task-focused vs team-oriented
- Embraces the status quo
- Being a good ‘doer’ means you will be a good manager
- Selects and leads based on “like me”
- Ignores diversity of thought or varying opinions
- Past focused vs present/future
- Lacks courage
- Being a friend instead of a leader
- Failing to delegate and demonstrate trust
- Allowing ego and pride to get in the way of good decisions
- Personal agendas/motives
If you are a new manager, reflect on these characteristics. Recognize the signs and plan to change. You will then be on your way to becoming a good leader.
Stress is something we all strive to rid our lives of. But often we find what seems like a ‘stress to de-stress‘. We feel Caked, trapped, unhappy with our decision. But don’t stress it. Take baby steps. That’s where most of us fall short. In our microwave society, we want to achieve our goals, dreams and aspirations at the press of a button. Doing so is certain grounds for stress.
Here are 10 ways to reduce stress provided by the University of Illinois. Adopt one, two, or a few. It will be worth it to accept what we cannot change, get organized, laugh at ourselves, and leave time for the unexpected!
Cheers to de-stress!
How easy it is to be totally wrong about people. But for me, I shiver just thinking how totally wrong I can be about reaching my goal.
I am tired. I am tired of trying very hard to reach my goals. I’m tired of wanting things that seem to move further away the closer I get. Now at times I am even afraid. I am afraid of doing the things that I need to do. I Shiver at the very thought of rolling up my sleeves to get ready to work, to get things done. It is then that I shiver! I shiver! I shiver!
But even as I shiver – I will not give up. Lauren Oliver said she shivers just thinking how easy it is to be totally wrong about people. But for me, I shiver just thinking how totally wrong I can be about reaching my goal.
But I will keep trying. In the midst of my fears, my doubts, my exhaustion; I will not give up. My goals, my dreams and my aspirations are right in front of me. And as I look at it closely… as I dream of it… I am assured that I will face the light at the end of the tunnel. I know one day it will be real. I shiver but I will not stop. I let will achieve.
These thoughts are common among entrepreneurs, career enthusiasts, and goal seekers. Today, find comfort in knowing that your labor will not be in vain. Keep striving even when you are afraid. Reach out for help if you need it but whatever you do, don’t give up.