Sometimes it’s challenging to identify our own weaknesses. As for micro-managers, this can be a tough one. The obsessive control of micromanagement interferes with performance, as it’s counterproductive, hinders productive team building, and it eventually chases people off. Micro-managers believe no one can do what they do. They may even justify their behavior by setting subordinates up for failure. Assigning nearly impossible projects without guidance, giving tasks without direction, or delegating without followup isn’t proof, it’s justification. Don’t kid yourself, if you know others cannot do it without you, chances are, you’re a micro-manager.
Signs of Micro managing
Non-delegation can be a symptom of micro-managing. If you can’t let go, or if you take over delegated projects before they’re complete, you have a problem, and it’s adversely affecting your team.
How to stop – Let go and guide. For example, instead of taking over a project, give direction and offer advice, but let the project leader lead. Allow them to make their own decisions.
Obsessing over details
Do you get caught up in the minutia of a project, rather than seeing the big picture? It may be your responsibility to make certain your team follows company policy, but it shouldn’t be your job to oversee every detail. If you find yourself saying, “Do it this way because it’s how I do it,” rather than sharing the expected results – you may be the problem. Directing activities is fine, but let the team work out the details.
How to stop – When assigning projects, start at the end result and go backwards. This will help you see the desired outcome rather than being stuck on details.
Discouraging decision making
If you have to approve every decision your team makes, you will eventually grind them to a halt. Although you may be required to approve policy, allow your team to make procedural decisions that directly affect them.
How to stop – Encourage your team to make decisions by teaching them your decision making process, and occasionally allowing them to make mistakes. No one will be correct 100% of the time. What should be expected is a thought process behind the decision with lessons to be learned and shared.
If you believe no one can do it as good as you, if you can’t let go, if you don’t delegate, if you arbitrarily make decisions, affecting the team without input – you’re micro-managing. Stop right now. I know what you’re thinking: “They can’t do it without me believe me, I wish they could!” Do you? Do you really? If so, begin by admitting you’re the problem, let go, stop doing and start training. If you’re a micro-manager and you’d like more ideas on letting go, contact me – how do you think I know all this stuff? Let’s talk.
This topic was suggested by friend, Emily Myers. Thank you, Emily.