Do you expect that anyone who works for you should handle an issue exactly as you would – even if their solution is equally effective? Does the amount of time spent following up on the work of staff members get in the way of tasks that are a better use of your time and attention?
If you answer “yes” to either of the questions above, brace yourself.
You might just be a micromanager.
Being a micromanager is a real problem because such people often see their careers stymied after chronic complaints from employees. Higher-ups believe their lack of delegation means they can’t be entrusted with bigger projects or responsibilities.
That’s why if you find yourself constantly reversing gears to go back and change work done by subordinates, or believe that delegation doesn't work with your team, then it’s time to make some changes. If you don’t, you could find yourself losing out on promotions or even being taken off critical projects that you love.
If you know it’s time to change your micromanaging ways, the first thing you have to do is change the way you think about delegation. It can’t be a “sometimes” thing – you either trust your team members to do the work or you don’t. If you don’t buy into the idea that they can do the work and achieve a positive outcome – even if they approach it differently than you do – then you’re just spinning your wheels. The result will be decreased productivity and morale.
That will eventually lead to your own career being hampered because you’ll be seen as difficult to work with, uncollaborative and lacking leadership skills. Employee turnover may even be tied directly to you, and that could threaten your own job.
If you are a micromanager, there are ways to get past such ineffective tendencies. Among them:
The higher you rise in the ranks, the more important it will be that you are displaying leadership skills and not getting involved in the nitty-gritty details that can bog you down. Think of your delegation efforts as a way to develop key skills that will be needed as your career grows.
What are some others tips for micromanagers?