Are You Working for a Micromanager?

Businesswoman standing on a ladder looking through binoculars

Recognize the 7 Traits

Micromanagers are out there.  You may work for one.  You may be one.  The term micromanagement generally refers to someone who manages a project, team or staff member using techniques that involves overly close supervision, and a lack of desire or ability to delegate tasks– especially decision-making authority.

There are varying degrees of micromanaging – ranging from a boss who needs frequent, detailed updates to one who exhibits bullying or threatening behavior.  As they have typically experienced some level of success in their work, when made aware of their behavior, may defensively react in a way that says “the ends justify the means.”

From an “outside” perspective a micromanager may appear successful.  Projects may get completed, schedules may be met, and results achieved.  These managers are often hard workers and sometimes hold the “hard working” standard for their group.  However, from a closer perspective, it’s easy to see the “fall out” that results from what some would call an “abuse of authority”, is real, and can cost a company in ways they may not (or choose not to) recognize.

Typical “fall out” looks like: stress.  The manager using these techniques is typically stressed.   More importantly, their staff members are stressed.  Turnover is higher.  Staff creativity and productivity are lower.  Work communication inside a micromanager’s group, as well as between their group and others, is more closed and stifled.  At the extreme end, there can be secrecy, ranging from secret agendas to secret threats.

7 Traits of a Micromanager

1) A need for frequent progress updates.  This is the hallmark and often most visible trait of a micromanager.  Whether through their reporting system, or drop-in conversations, they want frequent updates regarding: work conversations you’ve had or know about; [read more]

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