The Oxford Dictionary defines the verb micromanage:
“control every part, however small, of (an enterprise or activity)”.
In an article published last year on www.breathehr.com Nick Hardy wrote that there are seven signs of micromanagement:
- Not seeing the wood for the trees
He says that micromanagers have a tendency to become bogged down in the minutiae of each and every individual project strand, and that they regularly lose the ability to see the bigger picture.
- Every task needs approval
He wrote that many micromanagers believe that they are the only ones capable of effective decision-making, and for them the idea of giving their team members control is unthinkable.
In these situations, employees find themselves having to request approval about almost everything, which rapidly diminishes their self-confidence.
- Micromanagers have an obsession with constant updates
This usually results in employees spending more time producing detailed updates than focusing on what they are employed to do. When we have employees feeling the constant need to continually justify themselves, they often end up feeling that they are not trusted to do their jobs.
- Micromanagers have difficulty delegating
This creates a couple of significant issues:
Firstly, a micromanager’s team members wonder whether they are actually allowed to do to the work that they were originally employed to be doing.
Consequently, the micromanager becomes so overloaded with doing everyone else’s work that they fail to actually do their own work.
- Over complicates instructions
A micromanager’s obsession with every minor detail means that even straight-forward projects become ridiculously over-complicated.
- The belief that no one is else is capable
Micromanagers often believe that only nobody else can be trusted to do the work and the tasks as effectively as they can. Micromanagers believe that everybody that they employ are less talented and generally incapable.
- The need to have visibility of every strand of communication
Micromanagers often need to have visibility of every strand of communication at all times, including appointment scheduling. . This indicates a fear of being left out of the loop and an obsession that people are discussing details and making decisions outside of their control. Often micromanagers will oversee inboxes and want to be copied in on all email correspondences.
Managing a micromanager
Hardy writes that once a business-leader has been identified as a micromanager, immediate steps need to be taken to deal with them and to mitigate the damage they are doing to other employees, their productivity, and ultimately to the business.
He says that managing micromanagers takes tact and careful thought.
It would appear that there is no upside to having a micromanager working in your business…
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