5 Tips To Avoid Micromanaging

Published: 24th January 2012
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Micromanaging is one of the most unpleasant traits any manager can have, and the worst thing about it is that the majority of people do not even know that they are doing it. If you are a manager, the first thing that you need to do is to work out if your management style is correct. In this guide, we will look at why micromanagement is a poor use of time and how to stop.

What is Micromanaging?

Micromanaging is when a manager constantly oversees every single stage of any work that they delegate to their staff. Micromanagement is always pedantic and while sometimes it may be required with newer staff members, it is often negative because instead of teaching the staff member you end up doing the majority of the work for them.

Why is Micromanagement seen as Bad?

A manager should always be a leader. Furthermore, a manager will more often than not be one of the most experienced members of a team, which means that they should be doing some of the more important work. When micromanaging, two people are essentially doing the work of one, which is a waste of time.

Those who are being micromanaged will often feel singled out, even if this is the manager's style. Micromanagers are usually seen as narcissists, and this means that staff members who should have respect for their superiors will eventually lose any liking for them as well. As all staff members will know, workplaces that have staff members who do not like each other will be less effective than happy workplaces.

What are the Effects of Micromanagement?

Staff members who are being micromanaged will feel like their superiors have no confidence in them, which will destroy self-confidence. Furthermore, as the majority of managers cannot see an issue, they may make a member of staff feel like they are being singled out without even realising it. In the most severe cases, staff members may feel like they are being bullied, and this can cause them to leave or file a complaint.

Stop Micromanagement

Stopping micromanagement early on is important. This requires both the attention of the manager and other staff members. As a manager you should always take a step back and analyse your style. If you think that you are micromanaging, it is your responsibility to find a way to improve your management style. If you do ask for the opinion of your staff members, you must take everything that they say into account and more importantly not take their comments personally.

As a staff member it is a bit more complicated because telling your manager that you think there is an issue may not be received well, especially as your manager will not see that they are doing anything wrong. In this instance, you should talk to their superior in private and seek out a solution from them.

5 Tips To Stop Micromanagement

Stopping micromanagement is important. As a manager you should always take a step back and analyse your style. If you think that you are micromanaging consider the following 5 top tips to help stop you falling into this dangerous trap:

Remember you're a leader first, expert second. Your job is to motivate and inspire.

Keep to the what, not the how.

Provide context to your staff so that they understand "the what".

Ask open-ended questions and listen.

Use a motivational poster on your wall that reminds you about the leadership qualities you should be adopting

Summary

The worst thing that any staff member can do in this situation is to ignore it. Micromanagement is often seen as bullying, and it will not get better unless the manager realises that something is wrong.


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Leigh Dorling is passionate about helping businesses succeed and he created http://www.CreateYourMessage.com as a fun way to produce motivational posters for his clients and to aid them create powerful reminders of values, vision, beliefs and goals. He also runs Cognisi.co.uk and helps business leaders achieve their goals more quickly than they will do themselves.

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