You think you’re being helpful. You believe that you run a structured and organized department. You pride yourself on being a ‘hands on’ manager who will go over and beyond what’s expected of you to lead your team to the goal.
But what if you’re actually doing the complete opposite? What if all the meetings, memos and procedures you set up are actually slowing things down, lowering morale, and are driven by a desire to control everything? Are you a micromanager? Read on for these tell-tale signs.
You interrupt people.
You are very protective of your own time, yet you often call unexpected meetings and hold lengthy discussions on tasks or problems that really should be delegated to your staff. Very often you will wander into their work station ‘just to ask for an update’ and then linger as you give your opinion or directions.
You want to know the ‘hows.’
All managers look at outcomes and results. But you want to be involved in the process, constantly kept in the loop of the various stages of the project. Part of you wants to be assured that they are ‘doing things right’ and you feel disturbed if they are doing it differently from the way you expect. Your instinctive reaction is to say, ‘If I were you, I would…’
You are the bottleneck.
Projects slow down because you have to give a go-ahead for nearly every major decision—even those that are very routine, or need quick action and resolution. This is the problem of the micromanager. While you gamely share responsibility, you refuse to give up on authority. It is very uncomfortable for you to tell someone, ‘It’s your call.’
You love documentation
Your desire for regular updates often translates to frequent reports and powerpoint presentations that help you monitor what others are doing. Very often, those powerpoints are very long, because you require your staff to explain and justify every detail instead of providing broad strokes.
You are too dependent on committees
Possibly the worst kind of micromanager is the indecisive micromanager. Not only do you expect others to report every move and wait for your approval before taking the next step, you must consult with others (usually other managers or your bosses) to ‘justify’ your move. It is a strange irony: you want control but you don’t want to be held accountable for that power. You try to share the burden with a committee—without empowering those below you.
Good bosses aren’t micromanagers. They develop the leadership skills of employees. If these signs describe your management personality to a T, it’s time to reconsider what you are doing–and whether your desire for control and certainty is improving productivity, or lowering it.
Photo from crystalinks.com