Am I a Micromanager? The Question Every Manager Should Ask
Am I a micromanager? It’s a question managers may find themselves asking after hearing whispers in the break room about their management style. Unfortunately, many ignore the answer. Because work is progressing, they assume there isn’t a problem.
The concern with micromanaging is that the results it provides are superficial. As time goes on, micromanaging can negatively impact every aspect of your business, including your employees, clients, and yourself. Here’s how to spot the issue of micromanaging and solve it for good.
Am I a Micromanager?
There are several surefire signs to look for if you’re wondering whether or not you micromanage. Do any of the following sound familiar?
You’re always busy but not necessarily productive
If you’re always holding status meetings in your office or reading emails you’ve been CC’d on, you’re probably micromanaging to the point where you’re always busy but not making any real progress. Spend a day tracking how much time you spend approving your employees’ work and you’ll see for yourself.
Your employees lack drive and are overly cautious
Are your employees scared to take initiative? Do they approach you with caution when they have a suggestion, or do you often find them sitting at their desk waiting for you to approve their next move? Chances are, you’ve trained them to be overly cautious with micromanaging. Your employees have talents. Don’t let them be scared to use them.
You often complete tasks that shouldn’t be on your plate
Have you ever written an email or put together a report that could have easily been completed by an employee, only because you thought it would be easier to just do the work yourself? This lack of trust is damaging to your employees’ morale and work environment.
While a manager is expected to put forth the time and effort to ensure professional success, they should still be able to unplug from time to time.
The Dangers of Micromanaging
Are you leaning towards the possibility that you might be a micromanager? If so, are you wondering if micromanaging is really that bad? There are several hidden dangers of micromanaging you should be aware of.
First, micromanaging your employees can damage your relationship with them. They’ll start to resent you and lose morale. Productivity will suffer as a result and you may experience a higher turnover rate than normal (try these team building activities to rebuild your relationship with employees).
Your clients might notice a difference as well. Maybe tasks that used to be quick are taking longer or they start to think your team is incapable and take their business elsewhere.
Finally, you’re affected by micromanaging as well. You’re wasting your talents on unnecessary tasks and eventually, you’ll find yourself burning out.
Overall, micromanaging is frustrating for everyone involved and can slowly begin to unravel your hard work and success.
How to Break the Habit
The good news is that there are ways to stop micromanaging your staff and hampering productivity. Here are some of our favorite tips.
Focus on smart communication
Instead of telling your employees how to do something, tell them what you expect the final outcome to be. Employees just need to know where they’re going. They’ll find a way to get there.
Get comfortable with delegation
You can’t stop micromanaging if you’re not comfortable with delegation. A great rule we’ve come across is thoroughly explained here, but the basics state that if an employee can complete a task 70% as well as you can, let them do it. You should be focused on the tasks that no one else can do.
Learn what your team wants
Ask your employees how they feel they need to be managed. Would a weekly status report suffice? Would they prefer an internal project manager to oversee them? Or do they feel like they can tackle a project from start to finish without someone checking in? Knowing what your employees want will help you make changes in the right direction.
Kicking the micromanaging habit will turn you into a more respected and stronger leader. Remember, a pilot doesn’t spend the flight asking flight attendants for updates on served beverages. Instead, they get everyone to their destination and let their team focus on the smaller details.
You’re the pilot for your business. Ask yourself, “Am I a micromanager?” If yes, focus on becoming the leader your clients and team need to get to their destinations.