Are you a Micromanager: Ask Yourself these 5 Questions
Great questions posed by Gallup to ask yourselves as leaders, which can help prevent situations like the one Mary faced in my story below. (Source: https://www.gallup.com/workplace/315530/ultimate-guide-micromanagers-signs-causes-solutions.aspx
Nobody wants to be a micromanager. But how would you know if you were one?
Discover your inner micromanager by asking yourself these five questions:
- Is my team boss-obsessed instead of customer-obsessed?
- Do I need to approve every decision?
- Are my team members afraid to share their opinions?
- Do I see a lot of turnover among my most talented people?
- Does my team lack creativity, innovation, and agility?
Now, let me tell you Mary’s story:
When Mary started her new job, she was so excited to use her skills to come up with new ideas and share her knowledge.
However, as she began working, she quickly realised that her boss was a micromanager. They controlled every aspect of her work, from the conversations she had with stakeholders to the way she structured her emails. Her boss constantly checked in on her progress, often interrupting her work with meetings, phone calls and emails.
At first, Mary tried to brush it off as just part of the job, but as time went on, she began to feel more and more frustrated. She felt like she wasn’t trusted to do her job well, even though she had the experience and knowledge to do it.
As a result, Mary began to lose her motivation, confidence and enthusiasm for her work. She stopped coming up with new ideas and started to feel like she was just going through the motions. She began dreading going to work each day, knowing that her boss would be hovering over her every move, ready and waiting to criticise her.
The tension between Mary and her boss began to impact the rest of the team. Other colleagues began to feel like they were being micromanaged too, and communication and collaboration between team members became strained.
Finally, Mary reached her breaking point. She sat down with her boss and explained how their micromanagement was affecting her work and morale. Her boss expressed surprise to hear how she felt and apologised, saying that they didn’t mean to make her feel that way.
Together, they came up with a plan to rebuild trust and give Mary more autonomy over her work. Her boss set clear expectations and goals for Mary but allowed her to choose her own approach and gave her the freedom to make decisions on her own.
As a result, Mary began to feel more engaged and motivated, and her creativity and productivity returned. The rest of the team also noticed the change in Mary’s attitude and work, and communication and collaboration between the team improved significantly.
While Mary’s story has a positive outcome, unfortunately, it is not always the case.
Micromanagement can have detrimental effects on both employees and teams, resulting in decreased motivation, creativity, and productivity. Even worse, it can impact the mental health of employees.
It is essential for managers to understand the negative impacts of micromanagement and to trust their employees to work independently while still providing guidance and support.
Without trust, many stories end unhappily, with employees feeling disengaged, demotivated and unfulfilled, and finally end up resigning.
Is that really the type of leader you want to be?