The ironic element pertaining to micromanagement is that while most everyone grumbles about being micromanaged, you won’t likely unearth an individual who professes to be a micromanager.
Take a gander in the mirror and it might shock you to discover you’re one of this breed! Yes, chances are you might be duplicating some of the demeanors of your ex-bosses.
If you happen to be amongst the rare fortunate ones never to have had to report to such bosses, you might still inadvertently turn to micromanaging owing to anxiety of failing / lack of trust / mental rigidity etc. First-time bosses might tend to micromanage even more owing to inexperience.
All of you are mismanaging!
Now, don’t get me wrong: It’s good to be on top of details as a leader; however, you must balance the fine line between being ‘hands-on’ and being a ‘micromanager’.
If you’re into one of the following practices, you’re a micromanager:
- You tend to do all tasks yourself
- You tend to be the approver of each and every decision
- You tend to double-check each and every thing
- You tend to withhold important information from your subordinates and not offer the ‘whys’ when enquired of by your subordinates
All of the above might be okay if you do so once in a blue moon; but if you’re regular in doing so all you are achieving is a demoralization of your team in showing no trust in their capabilities, and not actually paying attention to your role as a strategist as well as violating one of the most basic principles of your job as a leader – Not developing and harnessing your team members for future growth and succession.
Ultimately, the long term consequences of micromanaging manifest themselves in your subordinates becoming completely demoralized and unproductive – leading to attrition. For if you can’t give them space to function and take micro-decisions on their own steam, how can you hold them accountable if you’re breathing down their necks all 9 hours of a workday, all week?
On the other hand, a ‘hands-on’ manager is one who:
- Really gets to know each and every of his subordinate, his strengths and expertise, as well as grey areas – so as to be a sound delegator
- Recognizes and praises good work of subordinates openly and generously – so that team morale remains high
- Proactively shares crucial company developments, the bigger picture – so that the subordinates are able to identify with the instructions and responsibilities assigned to them
- Provides constructive feedback so that subordinates don’t keep failing
- Empowers the subordinates – so that they don’t have to come up to him for getting approval on each and every little matter like schoolchildren, which undermines their morale
Here’s hoping this article helps curb the micromanager within you, and brings out the hands-on ‘leader’!