Did you aspire to be a manager so you could move up in your company?
Or were you just really good at your job, got things done and they made you a manager because of that?
If you’re in the latter group, answer this:
Are you a micromanager?
Do you delegate work to your team or do you feel the need to do everything by yourself?
Do you let your team work on their own and give you periodic updates, or do you hover and have to know what’s going on 24/7?
Still not sure?
Here are 5 warning signs you’re a micromanager:
1) You ‘Think’ You’re The Best At Everything!
Can anyone on your staff do anything better, faster or with greater precision than you? If you answered no, then you’re a micromanager – unless you hired a bunch of idiots, which you wouldn’t do because you’re the best at hiring, right?
You may have many mad skills, but I have a secret to share with you: Nobody’s perfect!
If you were perfect, you wouldn’t be micromanaging your staff. A “perfect” manager sets his staff up to succeed. He gives them opportunities to take responsibility for projects and decisions, and encourages them to succeed, because he knows that’s how people learn and grow.
So let your staff have some control and let them make mistakes. They’ll learn from them, feel empowered and want to do a better job for you!
2) You’re Swamped And Have No Time To Breathe Because You DON’T DELEGATE!
Do you constantly feel stressed out, overworked and overburdened? If so, you need to be honest with yourself. You’re a micromanager.
The key to being a good and effective manager is delegating. If you don’t delegate, then you have to do everything yourself. And if you’re doing it all, you can’t possible give everything 100%, so tasks aren’t getting done as well as you think. That or you’re not eating, sleeping or ever leaving work.
The key here is delegate!
Give your employees tasks that match their strengths. And don’t just give up boring tasks that you don’t like doing – if you don’t like them, neither will your employees.
3) Your Favorite Saying Is ‘My Way Or The Highway’
In the rare case you assign staff a special project, you give them step-by-step instructions, instead of giving them guidelines and allowing them to figure it out on their own.
You need to make sure it’s done right, and “right” in this case means your way.
Not allowing your staff to think for themselves stifles their creativity and growth. It also creates a very unmotivated staff, which doesn’t reflect well on you.
If there are certain parameters that must be met, tell your team what they are then hand over the reins. You’ll have a much happier and more productive staff!
4) Authority Rests Solely On Your Shoulders
Does your staff need to wait for your approval to move ahead with tasks? If so, you’re a micromanager. Especially, if things are delayed because you weren’t there to give your approval.
Take a step back and look at what needs your approval to move forward. Are they all decisions you need to make, or can someone else on your team handle them?
It’s very likely someone else on your team can give the day-to-day approvals, so you’re free to do the more important tasks and make the more important decisions.
5) You Have OCD Tendencies And Insomnia
Believe it or not people with OCD are more likely to be micromanagers, as are people with insomnia.
People with OCD often have trust issues with people and situations, which is why they feel the need to control everything.
People with insomnia can’t leave things at work, they bring them home and obsess over them to the point they don’t sleep.
If you have OCD tendencies and/or insomnia, the best thing you can do is seek help for yourself. A better, more relaxed you will result in a happier, more productive team.
Reform Is Possible
Whether you’re a full-blown micromanager or just have a few tendencies, don’t lose hope. Reform is possible.
The first step is to take a good, hard, honest look at your work behaviors and then face the fact you have a strong desire to control everything.
The second step, apologize to your staff. Let them know you’ve seen the error of your ways, and are bound and determined to change.
Of course you’ll need help.
If you don’t feel your staff will be honest with you when you fall back into old habits, ask a trusted colleague to help keep you on track.
After you’ve apologized, get to know your staff, and identify their strengths and weaknesses. This way you can give people tasks that play to their strengths. Plus, if your staff feels connected to you personally and professionally, they’ll work harder for you.
Taking Baby Steps Is The Key
Give your staff a small project with a few guidelines, and then hand over the reins. Let them know you’ll be there to answer any questions, but other than that you’ll be leaving it up to them.
Finally stop looking over people’s shoulders. You don’t have to know what they’re doing every second of every day.
Set up a weekly 30-minute meeting where everyone can update you on their progress. Use this meeting to iron out any issues or problems, and then wash your hands of it – unless someone has a question – until your next meeting.
When you finally get your micromanaging tendencies under control, you’ll find you have a happier more productive team, and a lot less turnover.
The Busy Manager’s Guide
to Effective Delegation
Empower Your Team, Increase Productivity, Get Things Done Right
If you want to empower employees, hold them accountable and finally – LET GO … then check out our Effective Delegation Blueprint.
It’s a 57-page, complete step-by-step guide to delegating without feeling like you’re passing off “busy work” or being perceived as a paranoid micromanager. What you’ll learn:
- How to decide what to delegate, and what you shouldn’t
- How to select the right person to delegate to
- How to give instructions so the person “gets it”
- How to ensure expectations, timelines and deadlines are met
- How to monitor and follow up without being a micromanager