Don’t be a micromanager!

Many micromanagers don’t think of themselves as micromanagers. Do you want to know if you are one of them?

If you answer “yes” to one of the following questions, you may act as a micromanager:

  • Do you tell your employees exactly what to do, how to do it and when to do it?
  • Do your employees come to you even for small decisions?
  • Do you resist delegating because your employees don’t get the job done?
  • Do you correct tiny details and often rework the work of your employees?
  • Did your employees stop offering input or suggestions to solve problems?

What exactly is micromanagement?

A micromanager provides more direction, control and instruction than needed! Often he or she is even doing the work of his or her employees! That is damaging and counterproductive! Your employees become de-motivated if you repeatedly control every situation.

Micromanagement is a time killer. You spend lots of your time with controlling, administration and tiny day-to-day tasks. You do not have enough time for thinking about the future of your business, developing strategies and inspiring others. In short: You do not spend enough time for leadership!

Be a leader

As a manager you have to delegate most of the operative tasks to your employees. That is why you are a manager. Otherwise you do not have the time for the important tasks: the leadership tasks.

As a leader you must focus on

  • people not on transaction
  • Success and not on failure
  • future not on the past

Try to spend at least 50 % of your time with leadership tasks. Don’t be a micromanager, but strive to be a true leader!

Delegation is essential to effective management

Micromanagers are unable to delegate properly. Sometimes it seems that they have an excessive need of control. They don’t focus on the results but give extreme attention to even trivial details.

A few extreme micromanagers suffer psychological disorder related to need for control! But with most micromanagers that’s not the case. They can change their bad behavior.

Tips which help you to avoid being a micromanager

  • There are some tasks which need to be carried out 100 %. But for lots of day to day work 80 % perfection is good enough. If you correct the work of your employees, ask yourself: Do we really need the 100 % for is 80 % ok? Do I really add value when asking or the 100 % or do I only “kick up dust”?
  • Allow your employees to make their own decisions. Accept that they do it their way. The result counts.
  • Identify where your employees have real performance issues and offer help and support. Don’t just control and command but listen and ask.
  • If the employee can’t get the job done although you supported heavily, find someone else who can. Don’t do it by yourself! Don’t give up delegation!

When to provide direction

It is a challenge to know when and how to provide guidance and direction. There are a few situations when you need to manage in a strong directive way. Sometimes close supervision and detailed instructions are necessary but only for a limited period e.g. during a new assignment or with an underperforming employee.

In these situations don’t be afraid to manage! Find the balance between directing, delegating and doing. Accept that you will make mistakes but regularly step back and rethink your behavior.


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