Are you a Micro manager?

After my previous blog post, I had a lot of feedback on Twitter and E-mail about the topic and I was asked if I could do a follow up blog on what to do if YOU are the micro manager and what you can do to spot the signs if you’re the micro manager and how you’re able to rectify this behaviour.

It can take a lot of self awareness to realise that you may be the problem in the situation. What are the signs if you may be a micro manager?

  • Is your working day really long? Are you needing to work during the weekend to catch up on all of your activities?
  • Are you delegating tasks? or doing everything yourself because you can do it better than your team?
  • Do you get CC’ed into every email so that you can be “in the loop”?
  • Are you spending more of your time working on day to day work packages rather than the higher level strategy work?
  • Do you encourage an environment of innovation and where your team can take the initiative to make improvements? or are you thinking for them?
  • Are you overloading your calendar with meetings where you do not need to be in? or have meetings where you’re not able to provide answers?
  • Are you running meetings / team stand ups where there is no added value/ information sharing for the participants?
  • Do you feel like you have no control/ like you cannot trust your team to deliver the work they have scheduled with no reason?

There is a fun quiz from Geoffrey James which I can recommend for understanding if you might have some of the traits of being a Micro Manager.

If you discover that you do have the traits of being a Micro manager, I would recommend the following:

  • Look critically at yourself and your planned future and answer whether a career managing people is the right career and position for you? Could your skills be better used in another role/position?
  • Research or take some courses in trust, leadership style and how to manage people. This can be useful for supplementing your existing skillset and adjusting how you like to work.
  • Start small! Try delegating small tasks to your team and work up towards larger/more complex tasks. I would also recommend being open with your team regarding your expectations and what you’re looking for. Then, step back and see how they get on. Remember, the end goal is to meet the requirements, not to meet the requirement for how you would do it.
  • Critically analyse all of the meetings in your calendar and assess: Is this meeting really needed? Do you really need to be there? What is the value for this meeting?

It can be very difficult to change your habits if you feel that you are managing effectively and the work is getting done but as a people manager, you also need to invest in your team as individuals and consider working with them to develop their own skills.

unable to complete your tasks/working on the weekend – esp for senior managers, we need to be looking ahead to smooth the runway and if you micromanage, you will find yourself running out of track

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