Here’s a simple definition of MICROMANAGER from the National Federation of Independent Business:
“The micromanager is the manager who must personally make every decision, take a lead role in the performance of every significant task and, in extreme cases, dictate every small step the workers take. To many employees, the micromanager is, in modern parlance, a control freak.”
How does that statement above sit with you? Does it describe you? Does it describe someone you work with?
Here’s a simple self-test from INC Magazine: CLICK HERE
How did you score? Were you a “YIKES” a “MEH” or a “PHEW“?
How do you think the person you work with will score?
Here’s some advice for both the MICROMANAGER and the person working under a MICROMANAGER:
If you’re the MICROMANAGER:
#1) Learn to communicate clearly. Give clear expectations, determine deadlines and clearly let people know how you want things done, than let them do it. Give them the opportunity to either win your trust or fail the assignment. This is an ongoing process.
#2) Create “mutual accountability”. This can be done by bringing your team together and helping people realize that they are accountable for their projects to the team. If they don’t accomplish the assigned task, the team should hold them accountable. Many times, this motivates a worker to do their best work on time!
#3) Have the right people. If you have incompetent people working with you, you’re in trouble. This may be why you feel you have to micromanage everyone. However, if you have good people, and you constantly micromanage them, you will lose them. Don’t risk losing the wrong people!
#4) Be sure you’re listening well. Take the time to listen to your team members. Ask questions and follow-up with them. Be sure that you are approachable and accessible to your team. This will feed into #1.
If you work for a MICROMANAGER:
#1) Check your ego and pride. If you are truly working under someone, be sure to listen to them and to make sure that you’re not competing with them. You should have common goals for the organization and that should drive you to cooperation. Be sure that you’re not being self-promoting.
#2) Follow-through. No matter how big or small the task assigned is, do it and do it well! When you work hard and do your best, you will gain trust. This goes a long way and will result in larger tasks with more freedom. Be patient. It takes time to build trust.
#3) Learn to community with your boss. Be sure to listen well, ask questions, and provide regular updates. Don’t surprise them. If something isn’t working or if you need help, communicate that. The quickest way to lose trust is by not communicating.
#4) Ask for some space and freedom. If you’ve done all the things above and you still aren’t getting any space, schedule a meeting and ask for it. Communicate what you’d like and ask for an opportunity. Once you get it, do it well, then ask again. Again, be patient. This takes time.
The key is to communicate and to work together. You may not understand the reasons behind why someone is being a micromanager. Ask questions and you’ll learn.