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Dealing with Micromanagement


Micromanagement can be defined as a type of management in which the manager or boss is overwhelmingly controlling and pays extreme attention to detail with an employee, even if is it irrelevant to the overall scope of the project. Micromanagement can be caused by several different factors: underlying psychological problems; pressure to get a job done promptly and safely; and/or insecurities in oneself. Every boss and employee has the potential to be a micro-manager, yet some find it easier to suppress than others. Micromanagement can simply be defined as control. Although micromanaging has received much negativity in the workplace, it isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes micromanagement is a necessity for productivity and safety.

Micromanaging can have quite the negative effect in the customer culture and atmosphere when done in the wrong way. Constantly being second guessed and forced to do things the boss – way can and will destroy an employee’s personal confidence and restrict the possibility of new ideas that can prove more effective. Dealing with micro-managers can prove to be a very difficult feat for some. If no one is happy or feeling appreciated for their work, their drive to do better can deplete almost instantly; it may also cause employees to quit in the long run, and find an organization that’s more uplifting to work, even if it means a decrease in pay.

There are also instances where people are micromanaged and they don’t seem to be bothered by it. This is because they do not necessarily realize what is happening. For example, while driving down the road people follow a very specific set of guidelines and restrictions. It is essential to follow these rules to maintain safety and to get from one point to another efficiently. However, there are no roadblocks every few miles annoying people and constantly forcing the “right way” down people’s throats. There are rules and consequences for not following them, allowing individuals to think for themselves. So, if done in a non-bullying manor, micromanagement can provide the best path for a team unit to be very productive. Bosses that micromanage should strive to do it in this way.

Ok, So What Do I Do?

Finding ways of dealing with micro-managers can be difficult for the employee. Most would be tempted to quit or even “blow up” due to the destructive effects it may have on their psychological well-being. There are other ways of dealing with micro-managers that can be productive for both the employee and the manager. Most micro-managers are predictive and have triggers that can be avoided when recognized. If an employee notices signs of over managing, they can try to avoid these triggers. It is also important to remember that the boss may have personal issue or pressure from his/her boss to get things done.

Having empathy for bosses is another key to dealing with micromanagement. If these techniques are not enough, then patiently talking to the boss about how the micromanaging is affecting the work environment can be helpful. Together, the employee and the boss may be able to come to a reasonable solution to make the workplace more approachable for employees. Being aware of what is going on can also allow an employee to influence other employees and bosses to realize what is happening and offer constructive ways to fix it.

It All Rolls Downhill

Dealing with micromanagement for bosses can be just as hard as it is for employees. Every boss has another boss pressuring him/her to get things done. The first step would be realizing what is happening and how it is affecting productivity, as well as employee behavior. If a micro-manager can learn to effectively manage in a way that does not belittle employees, it can produce stellar results from the team.

Some ways to do this are

  • allowing employees to offer suggestions and ideas
  • maintaining a level head under pressure
  • keeping the employee’s demeanor in mind when over-analyzing and being too critical.

If the micro-manager can think “how would this make me feel?” then maybe he/she will rethink their approach.

Dealing with micromanagement can be achieved as long as both the employee and the manager try to think of each other instead of just themselves and their personal goals. This allows understanding and possibly a calmer environment. You are a team, and a well-organized and effective group with a strong leader can produce amazing results for any company.

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Micro Management vs. Effective Management