Are You a Micro Manager? How to Take That “Micro” Out of Your Style

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Are You a Micro Manager?

Nit-picky. Anxious. Overbearing. These are just a few of the associations many workers make with a supervisor who is a micro manager. And while to some those qualities indicate a manager who pays attention to detail and wants the team to do well, in reality, they don’t create an effective management style. In fact, a micro manager’s style can trigger workplace stress and decrease productivity.

The signs of a micro manager

Are you a micro manager? Here are a few signs:

✓ Inability to delegate. 

✓ Focus on correcting little details instead of examining the big picture first.

✓ Employees who make a mistake are not allowed to complete their project.

✓ Do not allow others to make decisions for themselves.

✓ Require constant updates on delegated projects.

✓ Controlling the flow of information into and out of the department.

Did you find yourself silently (and perhaps sheepishly) saying “yes” to any of those signs? If you did, then it’s time to take action.

Allow your employees to do what you hired them to do. 

Successful management is not about checking up on an employee every 5 minutes. Instead it’s about empowering a worker to do his or her job to the best of their ability; that’s hard for someone to do when they feel barraged with constant questions or are required to deliver frequent and detailed status updates.

The company (perhaps even you!) hired these employees because it believed they would be an asset to the business—so let them be an asset. Here are tips for curbing your inner micro manager so you can allow your workers and your department to shine:

  • Learn to delegate. By definition, delegation requires giving someone else control of a job or project. Effective delegation starts by clearly defining the project and its goals, as well as identifying the right employees to make it all happen. Don’t keep those expectations to yourself either. Make sure relevant team members know what the completed project will accomplish and what their role will be in reaching that goal.
  • Provide training. If you genuinely believe a worker is incapable of performing a task within their realm of responsibilities, provide the training they need.
  • Build healthy relationships with the team. That doesn’t mean you need to hit Happy Hour every Friday with the workers. But at the heart of every healthy relationship is trust. By speaking with employees, getting to know them, and guiding them toward success, you begin to nurture that trust.

A micro manager may continue to manage a team, but he or she may never become a genuine business leader. If you recognize any of the traits in your own management style, it’s time to shift course. Start developing more effective management skills today by taking the micro out of your style.

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