The term Micro Management means keeping close control on happenings within an organization. The term has a negative connotation and rightly so. Manager’s role is to facilitate, but a micro manager generally creates roadblocks for other coworkers.
Small business owners tend to micromanage, but once the business grows, the scope of an owner manager’s responsibilities change. It however becomes challenging for him to realize the situation, which ultimately makes life difficult for him and his coworkers. In this post, I would like to focus on why people micromanage and what can be done to improve situation in an organization.
Psychologically, we all are micromanagers; some will consider this a radical statement. But the fact of the matter is that human generally think that “they are correct and others are goofs”. Those who say that they are working for micro managers, most of the time do not realize that they micromanage too!
I found an interesting post at Harvard Business Review that analyzed “why people micromanage?” I strongly recommend reading this excellent post on the subject. Commenting on the post readers shared their views saying:
“I have been micromanaged and guess what? When I rose through the ranks I did the same. It’s difficult to admit to yourself. I believe it’s a part of the learning process.”
The other reader noted:
“I am one of those control freaks you are talking about. I know I am doing it, but sometimes being like that has made me aware of some nasty situations before they turned into disasters. I can imagine that I am a complete nightmare to work for.”
Logically speaking, most of micromanagement stems from insecurity and uncertainty. When an individual tries to behave as a “Mr Know it All” he is actually exerting the behavior of Insecurity and mistrust. And in case of small business owners, this is valid too. They are usually running the show themselves, and their workers are either part time or do not have any future development potential within the organization. Expecting 100% loyalty in such a situation is foolish, hence the attitude towards micromanagement embeds into most small business owners or even managers that are working in similar situations.
Delegation is one of the ways to reduce the effect of micromanagement. Most system driven organizations, small or big create a process that makes workers self accountable. They work on “no blame-game theory”. This means that every individual will agree on a process of self accountability and will be fully responsible to his or her acts.
Individuals and organizations suffering from this negative behavior tend to move slowly due to hurdles created by micromanagers. An interesting way to overcome this is realization and trainings. Change does not come prompt, but in most cases leadership trainings help micromanagers learn to lead effectively.
In the end, lets analyze yourself, are you:
- Making all the decisions
- Setting priorities
- Doing all the talking
- Signing off on every document and communication
- Attending every meeting that anyone of your team attends
- Making sure the spotlight is always on you
- Accepting credit for team accomplishments
- Assigning blame to some individual of your team when something goes wrong
If you are behaving in this manner, I am afraid, you are one of them and remember “a micromanager is one of the most frustrating and demoralizing forces in the workplace!”