Published: Jul 23, 2019
Employees hate it when managers are on their backs all the time, checking in, asking for updates, constantly making minor corrections. And what if you are one of these managers and don't even know it?
Below are seven signs that you've become a dreaded micromanager, according to the Harvard Business Review.
1. You feel overly frustrated by how the people you manage are handling tasks.
If you're always feeling frustrated that you would've done tasks differently, it's a good sign that you're micromanaging people. You need to give the people you manage space to perform tasks in their own ways, so long as they're getting the job done well and efficiently. If you seem room for improvement, you can have a conversation with them, but you need to recognize that you're way isn't always necessarily the best way.
2. You're constantly asking for updates.
If you're always asking for updates from those you manage, it may be because you're a micromanager. According to HBR, "The bottom line is: You need to stop. It’s harming your team’s morale and—ultimately—their productivity." It's best to set weekly or monthly meetings with people to make time to discuss their progress in a more constructive way. This way, they know it's coming, and it'll motivate them to have progress to show you. And you know that it's coming, so you won't have to worry about keeping up to date all the time while you have bigger things with which to concern yourself.
3. You always ask to be cc'ed on emails.
If you're always asking to be CC'ed on emails so you can keep track of your team's correspondences, it may be a sign that you're micromanaging them. It's best that you allow people room to breathe and send emails without you—so long as you don't need to be on the email. This lets them know that you trust them, and trust builds motivation.
4. You're never satisfied with deliverables.
You might be a micromanager if you're never totally satisfied with your team's deliverables. If you're not feeling satisfied with people's work, you need to have constructive reviews with them on a regular basis. In these reviews, it's important to not only focus on the negatives but also reaffirm the positives. That way, they can learn, grow, and perform better to give you more optimal deliverables.
5. You always need know what exactly your team is working on.
It could be a sign that you're a micromanager if you're always wanting to know what your team members are up to. You should certainly be aware of what those whom you manage are working on, and make sure that they're focused on their tasks at hand, but you'll need to step back and also focus on your own work.
6. You take great pride in making corrections.
Sure, corrections are necessary. But you don't want to spend too much time breathing down people's throats. "While micromanaging may get you short-term results, over time it negatively impacts your team, your organization and yourself," according to HBR. "You dilute your own productivity and you run out of capacity to get important things done. You stunt your team members’ development and demoralize them. You create an organizational vulnerability when your team isn’t used to functioning without your presence and heavy involvement."
7. You're always "down in the weeds."
If you're always getting involved in the little details when you could (and should) be paying mind to higher-level issues, you're likely a micromanager. If you're always watching over your team members' shoulders, it means you're seldom spending time working on the matters of more importance to you. So refocus your attention, and check in a lot less (or when necessary!).
A version of this post previously appeared on Fairygodboss, the largest career community that helps women get the inside scoop on pay, corporate culture, benefits, and work flexibility. Founded in 2015, Fairygodboss offers company ratings, job listings, discussion boards, and career advice.
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