Leadership fail: Micromanagement

80% of voters said the worst type of manager is a micromanager who allows no independence.

80% of voters said the worst type of manager is a micromanager who allows no independence.

I posted a poll on my blog for about three weeks. I asked the question: Which type of manager is the worst? The choices and results are illustrated in the image above. 80% of people said that a micromanager is the worst type of manager.

Essentially, people would rather have a manager who was totally hands-off and a manager who is not personable or approachable. So what’s so bad about a micromanager and how do leaders avoid micromanagement?

Micromanagers are annoying.

To employees, it feels like micromanagers are nagging them. Micromanagers are constantly asking for progress reports and telling employees how they should do every little thing.

What should a leader do instead?

Ask, listen, and suggest. If you ask your employee how things are going, listen to what they have to say. Don’t jump to conclusions and start telling them how to do something. Then, if they need help, offer suggestions and guidance but don’t solve their problems for them. Help them solve it themselves. Give them time to work before asking them for an update again.

Micromanagers are hurtful.

Micromanagers ask employees to do something and then turnaround and tell the employees how to do it or do it for them. This makes employees feel that they are not trusted or competent, which can be very hurtful especially if it’s not true.

What should a leader do instead?

Trust your employees! Provide them the resources and then hold them accountable for accomplishing the assignment. It really is that simple. Surprise your employees by trusting them and they might just surprise you by doing a great job!

Micromanagers are harmful to team morale.

Micromanagers focus too much on managing the work that they forget to manage their people, which will quickly diminish morale. Micromanaging people also makes it feel like you think you’re the only one who knows how to do something and that you’re not part of a team working together.

What should a leader do instead?

Allow people to contribute. Get to know your team and their strengths. Then, utilize their strengths to make appropriate assignments. If you know their strengths, it’ll make it easier for you to trust them to do a good job. If everyone contributes to the cause, they will begin to feel like a team again. Avoid creating the me vs. them culture.

Realizing you’re a micromanager is the first step. Being proactive in changing your micromanagement tendencies is more difficult but will put you on the road to becoming a better leader.

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3 thoughts on “Leadership fail: Micromanagement

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