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Managing the Micro-manager


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Got the feeling you’re being watched?

Does it seem like you get more “reminders” on how to do your job, even though you’ve been doing it so long that you could do it blindfolded…with your hands tied behind your back?  Do you ask for simple guidance only to have the task suddenly being done…but not by you? Have you been experiencing heart palpitations and sweaty palms?

Then you may be experiencing Micro-managementitis!

It is, unfortunately, a common condition in small to large organizations. This devastating ailment can infect a healthy team rendering it completely ineffective and apathetic.

Clearly this condition is to be avoided at all costs… and a quick fix Band-Aid will not stop an epidemic. 

We have all experienced great managers that instil confidence and, on the flip side, we have experienced the less than stellar bosses that readily display a lack of trust.

When you are being Micro-managed you are more likely to be less effective. Sometimes the situation becomes so unbearable that good staff members, with solid potential end up leaving. But that only perpetuates the problem.

4 Tips to reduce Micro-Managementitis in your workplace

  1. Understand the condition:

Most individuals that complain about a micro-manager, rarely looks at the situation from a place of facts. The best way to eliminate micro-managementitis is to understand why it is there in the first place. Has anything changed in the work place environment? Staff? Revenue? Customers? Productivity? Could the micro-management simply be a corrective measure to ensure the bottom-line is being taken care of?

The prescription to rid the company of excessive micro management is a dose of clear communication.  Let your manager know what you are prepared to do to assist in the business’ processes.

2. Don’t be a vulnerable host:

Infections thrive when there is a host that feeds it. To ensure you do not experience the wrath of a Micro-managementitis epidemic, don’t give your supervisor reason to invade. Is there anything you have done or haven’t done that might have fueled this outbreak? Be honest now. Have you been distracted? Late? Inaccurate? Careless? Forgetful? If you have done something to give reason for the outbreak, then you have to fix it.

The prescription: Let your supervisor know you recognize the specific areas you can improve. Ask for guidance and autonomy to work effectively again.  Be patient with the process. Your boss will only have confidence in you if you give him reason to have confidence. To start the ball rolling, you have to have confidence in yourself.

3. Avoid spreading the infection:

Gossiping about your manager will not eradicate the micro-managementitis; in fact it could spread the infection.

The Prescription: Speak directly to the individual that is causing the crisis. Communication often corrects these situations but it is possible that you need more than one dose to completely eradicate the infection. If that is not strong enough to make a difference, you may need to bring in a more powerful form of intervention. If rehabilitation doesn’t work then removal may be necessary for the health of the business.

4. Create a healthier environment:

It takes effort to maintain a healthy workplace, particularly after an infection that has reduced morale and productivity. This isn’t the sole responsibility of management, but the entire team must do its part to maintain a healthy state.

The Prescription: ensure the health of the business is monitored regularly. Employees need to have a safe place to learn and be challenged. Regular communication will help to grow all members of the team, including the supervisors and leaders.

Confidence comes from taking on challenges.

Management that supports confidence supports success.

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