Calling All Micromanagers! It’s Time to Change Your Ways

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Micromanagers aren’t bad peoplethey just have a management flaw that often affects their team’s ability to perform effectively. The challenge is that many managers aren’t even aware of their micromanaging tendency. Not sure where you fall in the micromanager spectrum?


10 signs you’re a micromanager:

1. You believe that all roads lead to you—meaning you think you maintain the highest quality standards and that your employees can’t achieve the same result.

2. Lack of delegating keeps you busy on all fronts. You farm out the simple clerical work and leave the heavy lifting to yourself.

3. You’re the shadow of your employees. They never have the opportunity to work on their own because you hover around them, fixated on deadlines, project management, and results.

4. Even when you are physically away from the office, your team still feels your presence. You’ll occasionally “check in” with a phone call or you’ll pop into the office on your days off.

5. When assigning tasks, you spell out how the project should be done, instead of allowing your team to complete the assignment according to their working style.

6. Projects seem to take forever to complete because you require updates at every turn of the project, often causing a bottleneck in production.

7. You habitually throw your weight around—just because. You’re obsession with control comes from a fear of failure.

8. Your staff is waiting on the edge of their seats for your approval. There is a paralyzing anxiety within your team because they fear your input, as it’s critical.

9. People always seem to be on the go when you’re around. There is little casual talk or inclusion during group meetings.

10. Your employees tell you you’re a micromanager.

Any of these ring any bells? If so, chances are you are a micromanager. You’re certainly not alone, and the good news is that this is something you can work through!

Get feedback from your team

Hearing unpleasant truths about yourself from others is a tough pill to swallow. However, in order to make a positive impact as a leader, you must hear the opinions of your team. Give your team the opportunity to provide anonymous feedback to gain an honest understanding of what it’s like to work with you. Chances are you’ll receive less than stellar reviews, but remember you’re on the road to improvement, and employees will recognize this gesture as a step in the right direction. 

Get feedback from your boss

If applicable, gather feedback from your boss as well. Explain that you are working on your leadership style and you would like their opinion. Again, remember that this feedback is not a personal attack, but rather a gift to help you improve as a leader. Organize the feedback from your team and manager into key themes and actionable steps to address each theme. 

Work on your emotional intelligence

Leadership is hard; which is why not everyone is naturally cut out for the role. Part of becoming a phenomenal leader is learning how to influence people. In order to become a people guru, you have to remove yourself from the equation and focus on others. Put yourself in your team’s shoes. Would you want to work for you? Why not? What can you do to change that?

Trust your team

Your people were not hired as an act of charity. They are talented individuals that were hired to make the organization great. Your role as a leader is to enable your team to do just that — to use their unique talents to improve the business. Step back and give employees the opportunity to use their unique skill-set to contribute effectively. This might be the best management move you make so far. 

Trust yourself

Rome wasn’t built in a day—your team isn’t going to expect you to become perfect overnight. That said, you have to trust the process of letting go, and your team will trust and respect you for it.

Why it’s time to change your ways

As they say, people leave managers, not companies. Employees are faced with a bright job market, making them very capable of finding a better work arrangement elsewhere. Embarking on the path of continuous improvement as a leader is not only great for morale, it’s necessary for retention. While you might perfectly fit the profile of a micromanager today, it isn’t too late to change your ways and show employees that you are making an effort with their best interests in mind.

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