Are you a micromanager?

Self-reflection is an important part of personal development. By analysing your own performance, characteristics and behaviours, you’ll be able to identify things like your strengths and weaknesses.

One thing you should try to identify is whether you are a micromanager or not. Micromanagers are more common than you think and are generally associated with negative characteristics.

In this blog post, we’ll help you identify whether you’re a micromanager or not, as well as tips on how to curtail those urges.

#1 – You feel obliged to attend every meeting held by your staff

A staff meeting at work

If you’re attending meetings held by your subordinates, to make sure things get done, you’re probably micromanaging.

You have people working for you, so they can do work you don’t have to – so let them do their job! If you’re continuously stepping into meetings, spending your time making sure things are ticking over, you aren’t allowing your staff the opportunity to express themselves and fundamentally, look to you to make key decisions.

#2 – You insist on being copied in on every email

Being copied in to every email

If you’re constantly asking people to copy you in on email chains, stop. Not only does reading and replying to emails take up your valuable time, but it also sends a message out to the wider organisation that you’re there to look over everyone’s shoulders.

Instead, take steps to reduce the number of emails you deal with every day. Insist your staff only send you emails when it is vital for you to receive some information or need to decide on something key to the business.

By reducing the number of emails you’re copied in on, it will relieve your workload as well as provide opportunities for you to focus on more strategic activities. In addition, pushing back on being copied in on everything will demonstrate to your staff that you trust their decision making without feeling the need to breathe down their necks.

#3 – You don’t delegate

A woman delegating tasks in work

Feel like you must do everything yourself because nobody can do the job as well as you can? You probably need to delegate a lot more.

On occasion, even if you think you’d be the right person for the task that needs doing- think for a second – can somebody else in the team do this job? If you can answer yes to this question, then you should delegate.

Even if they’re not as capable as you are, delegating will save you precious time. You’ll also instil a sense of trust into your employees. They’ll know that you trust them to get the job done, as well as provide them with an opportunity to earn new skills.

# 4 – You feel management is exhausting

A man who is exhausted by management

Starting to feel burnt out from managing people? Management is a challenging exercise, but it should never feel exhausting – but unfortunately, this is a problem micromanagers experience frequently.

Looking over so many people’s shoulders can be a tiring task, as well as juggling your own responsibilities. You’ll grow to resent your job, the people you manage as well as the company that employs you. It might even be enough to encourage you to leave your job, or perhaps, leave management entirely.

Burnout can take a toll on your physical and mental health, as well as impact the morale in the wider organisation. Seeing mangers suffer under the weight of their workload can cascade further down the team and have a demotivating impact.

#5 – You have a high turnover of staff

A member of staff leaving his job

Having a high turnover of staff is something that isn’t mutually exclusive to micromanagement, but almost certainly leads to staff departures.

Most people don’t like being micromanaged, and more than often, when employees feel they’re being micromanaged, they leave the business. This can have serious consequences for the wider organisation, including disrupting the natural balance of the business as well as having to constantly retrain new staff.

Besides the obvious financial cost of retraining staff repeatedly, a high turnover to staff can reduce morale in the business as a whole, unsettling other members of your team and resulting in further departures.

#6 – You’ll foster a culture of dependency

dependant workers

Think all your staff turn to you and rely on you a little too much? You’ve probably created a culture of dependency.

Micromanaging has an unintended consequence of stifling creativity and ambition. Instead of coming up with their own ideas, staff will feel like they can no longer handle work without your constant guidance and attention. Either that or they will be too afraid of coming up with their own ideas because you’ll immediately shoot them down and conjure up your own.

Try to remember why these employees were hired in the first place. They were brought in because they have the skills and qualities to make a meaningful contribution to the business. By nurturing independence, you’ll encourage your team to come up with their solutions to problems, instead of relying on you.

What can I do if I’m a micromanager?

If you’re inclined to micromanage, chances are it’s because you’re totally invested in your team’s success. And this is a good thing – it shows that you genuinely care about your role and the state of your team.

We’d recommend first, identifying undesirable behaviours and subtly adjusting them so that you and your employees can enjoy your jobs more.

The less time you spend worrying about the details, the more time you’ll have to focus on strategic activities, whilst simultaneously, allowing your team to do their job(s) more efficiently.

Do you have any tips?

Are you a micromanager? Or have you been micromanaged? Do you have tips on how to manage this behaviour? Let us know on our social media channels.