So, are you micro-managing??

This is an interesting and pertinent topic to me, as many of
my clients–some aware, some not–suffer from the micro-managing malady. 
It’s been my experience that micro-managers do so from
perceived need. At least in their minds, they feel they have a need for acute
attention to detail in one or more functions, or with one or more (or all)
members of their staffs. From my experience, the underlying reasons driving
this perceived need come from (a) real or perceived lack of competency of
employee(s),  (b) real or perceived lack
of trust, and/or  (c) an overdeveloped
personal ego/sense of self-worth.
Realize that most people want to achieve the same results
with fewer efforts, and micro-managing takes MORE effort, not less.  The dangers to me are straightforward: in
times of economic scrutiny, we need employees to be thinking MORE, not less.
So, how can we tell if we’ve crossed that line into
micro-managing? What do we look for, and what can we do?  Some indicators (and suggestions):
1. You frequently get questions about problems without
recommended solutions. Employees–even really good ones–tire of doing the
legwork for a micro-manager, so will simply ask questions instead of
problem-solving. “What do you want me to do?” is a typical question, and they
are essentially absolving themselves of all ownership and accountability. You
decide, you own. They screw it up, you own it.
2. You regularly ask successful employees for status
updates. Stop it. They didn’t get there by being an idiot, and you frustrating
them isn’t helping. Set priorities and deadlines, and then allow employees room
to do as you asked. Status updates, particularly those without major project
milestones, are simply a display of distrust.
3. You’re questioning others’ good decisions. Usually
because you would have “done it differently,” or are uncomfortable you weren’t
involved in the decision. How about just saying “Good work, thanks…?” Learn to shut up; diarrhea of the mouth is a career limiter anyway… 

Eradicating micro-managing is the responsibility of both
parties–the staffer being micro-managed, and the manager “doing” the

But that’s just me…


Kevin Berchelmann

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