We have all had our share of horrible bosses and some of us have been blessed with God-sent ones who made going to work a breeze. Often, a fat paycheck isn’t the number one priority for people, and more often than not, they quit their managers and not their jobs.
An oft-quoted complaint about managers is that they tend to micromanage each task, resulting in stifled freedom and nullifying any leeway for creativity. Some managers, unfortunately, can’t help themselves from doing this because they already assume that if they had been given a similar task, the final output would be different and much better. Are you a micromanager? Let’s find out.
Take a quick walk around your office. Are your employees happy to see you? It might be difficult to gauge their emotions as most have been taught to smile at one’s bosses. Be a little more observant during their dealings with you. Do your employees openly challenge you? Do they avoid conversations with you? Do they often bypass you and talk to your supervisor? If your answers to all of these questions were an emphatic “Yes”, you might need to work on your people skills.
Your employees will never tell you that you are the cause of the delay in work. If the constant buzzword you hear is “waiting for your approval”, check if you are the one who has stalled the project. Try to assess if all deliverables need to be ratified by you before you ask your team to run it by you before making a decision. If any of your other team members can take the call on it, then delegate the process of verifying, checking and finally accepting or rejecting the work done.
Wanting to know each and every thing might be a pleasant experience in a lovey-dovey relationship, but it’s a different ball-game in an office environment. I had a manager, who once asked me, “Can you work under pressure?” I asked him how he defines pressure. “I will stand behind you and ask you to finish the work quickly,” he replied, nonchalantly. He also wanted hourly updates about the work. If you do such things, not only are you guilty of micromanaging your employees, you are stifling any kind of enthusiasm that is prevalent in the workplace.
Most micromanagers are of the opinion that a task can be best done only by them. Even when in doubt, they refrain from asking others.
What are other signs of micromanagement do you know about? Let us know in the comments section below.