While conducting leadership training not too long ago, an individual went on for several minutes about how he would never be a micromanager. In separate training with his staff, I found out that he, in fact was, a micromanager.
I often find this to be the case. Micromanager is such a negative word that no one wants to be defined that way. Yet it is the number one complaint from employees about their supervisors.
What is a Micromanager?
I like this definition that says “a boss or manager who gives excessive supervision to an employee“. Excessive being the operative word. A micromanager keeps a close eye on employees and monitors their every move. The employee can feel smothered and not trusted. A micromanager is damaging to employee engagement and long term retention rates. Often times the manager may not be intentionally micromanaging but doing it more out of some need to ensure everything is perfect or to be in control. He or she may also feel that errors are going to be blamed on them so they want to make sure there are none. Whatever the reason, a micromanager is typically bad news for business.
Are You a Micromanager?
Not sure if you are a micromanager? Here are a few signs that you might be watching your employees a little too closely.
They do not ask you questions…..because you’ve given them step-by-step detailed instructions on when, how, where and why….with an instruction manual.
You guard information closely……because only you really need to know the company’s finances…..and because those other employees might do something bad with it…..and because no one can be trusted.
You have an unbelievable amount of work to do….because you won’t delegate…..because you are the only one who can do it properly…..because filing paperwork is difficult and can not be trusted to a subordinate.
The only good ideas are yours……because those other people are not smart enough to come up with good ideas. Period.
If any of those lines resonate with you, you might be are a micromanager.
I will admit there are times that micromanaging is necessary. Those times are few and far between and should be for short periods of time, not a permanent way of life. I will also admit that I have been a micromanager in my life and I’m not proud of it. My eyes were then opened up to the wonderful world of delegation and utilizing the brilliance of others and I will never go back. I am a recovered micromanager.
If there was hope for me, there is hope for you. I promise!