How to Identify a Micromanager
Although a majority of employees (59%) say they are being micromanaged, not many micromanagers admit to or know that they engage in this behavior. Micromanagement can lower employee morale and productivity, so it is important to identify the behavior and rectify it.
David Burkus, Ph.D., writing for the TED Ideas website, provides five questions to ask yourself or your team to identify a micromanager. These are:
- Do you have a long list of items waiting for your decision? Because of their need to control every detail, micromanagers have a long review and approval process. With many items needing their attention, micromanagers create bottlenecks and impact productivity.
- Do you set new policies to address poor performance? Micromanagers frown on poor performance and to respond, they create new system-wide policies which affect everyone, not just the low performers on the team.
- Do you join every meeting? Micromanagers like to sit in on meetings, thus communicating a lack of trust in their staff.
- Do you overexplain a task? If you have to dictate exactly how a job is to be done, you are most likely micromanaging.
- Do you require frequent activity reports? While managers do need to keep tabs on how work is progressing, having to check in on every step indicates micromanagement.
Micromanagement tends to subvert employees instead of empowering them to do their work. It’s wise to recognize if you’re a micromanager, and adjust your behavior. To learn more, read: “Are you a micromanager? Or do you just work for one? 5 ways to tell.