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What is micromanaging?

Memory Nguwi
Micromanaging is a common management technique where a manager takes a great deal of control and decision-making power for themselves, usually at the expense of others. Micromanagement is often a symptom of a larger problem – for example, if a manager is new to a position and does not know how to do their job, they may feel the need to micromanage to avoid making mistakes and looking incompetent.

Micromanaging is a common but dangerous management style. It is when a manager takes responsibility for every little task and decision under a person’s authority.

It can result in low productivity, but more often than not, micromanagers are only looking to control. Micromanaging is also related to fear. Micromanaging is a common term when a manager goes overboard in supervising and directing their employees. The best way to avoid micromanagement is to give clear and direct instructions and follow up when necessary. Micromanaging is often a negative term to describe a boss who constantly gives direction, makes decisions for their team, and does not delegate tasks.

The opposite of micromanaging is delegation. When a boss delegates well, they empower their employees to do their best work and achieve their goals.

Micromanagers are often difficult to work for. They are often overbearing and controlling, which can cause employees to avoid their requests for fear of making a mistake or causing them to lose control.

Micromanagers are often indecisive and lack confidence, making them unwilling to delegate tasks. Micromanagers often have a limited ability to recognise their own mistakes, leading to them making the same mistakes repeatedly. Micromanaging is often a symptom of a more serious issue, such as a lack of confidence, in a manager. Micromanagers may have difficulty delegating, which can result in a co-worker asking them to take on more responsibilities. If you are being asked to do much more than your co-workers and you feel like you are being watched all the time, it may be time to find a new job. Or, consider asking for more time to complete your work.

Micromanagers often fear making decisions, resulting in them taking responsibility for every little thing. If a manager is constantly checking in with their team to ensure they are doing their jobs, it is a sign that they are micromanagers. Micromanagers also like to be seen as busy so they can avoid making decisions, which often results in them delegating less. When a micromanager avoids making decisions, it usually means they are avoiding making mistakes.

Micromanaging can have a long-term impact on an employee’s productivity. It can cause them to feel indecisive or fearful, leading to under performing.

It can also cause them to avoid making decisions or asking for help when needed, which can lead to them under-utilising their talents. Delegation is a critical part of being a good manager. When a manager delegates, it allows the employees to do their best work and demonstrates that the manager trusts them to succeed.

The most successful managers can recognise their strengths and weaknesses and identify, which tasks they are best suited to handle. They then delegate those tasks to themselves to achieve their goals and still have time to support their team. Delegating does not mean that a manager takes no direction at all.

It simply means they can recognise when they are overstepping their boundaries and adjust their approach accordingly.

There are a few ways that a manager can avoid being a micromanager. The first step is to recognise when they are overstepping their boundaries. The second step is to identify their strengths and weaknesses and then focus on delegating to other employees. The third step is to build a team of employees who can help them accomplish their goals. Many managers make the mistake of focusing too much on avoiding micromanaging instead of focusing on delegating. If a manager is constantly asking their employees what they think or if they are unsure if they should make a decision, it is a sign that they are a micromanager.

A good way for a manager to avoid overstepping their boundaries is to ask themselves the following questions: Is this decision something that could be delegated to a co-worker? If so, is there someone else in the department that could help me make this decision? Micromanagers often have a hard time recognising when they are overstepping their boundaries. They may also lack confidence in their decisions, which causes them to avoid making them altogether. This often happens when you over-focus on a single aspect of a project or task. To prevent a micromanaging attitude, learn to identify when you’re taking on more than you can handle. As a manager, it can be difficult to avoid being a micromanager. Managers can best recognise when they are micromanagers and then focus on delegating as much as possible. The key to being a successful manager is to build a team of employees who are capable and confident in their abilities to accomplish goals on their own, and who can take on some of the responsibility so that the manager can focus on their strengths.

The best way for a manager to avoid micromanaging is to focus on delegating as much as possible. By constantly asking themselves if a decision could be delegated, a manager will be able to identify when they’re overstepping their boundaries.

  • Nguwi is an occupational psychologist, data scientist, speaker and managing consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and HR consulting firm. https://www.thehumancapitalhub.com or e-mail: mnguwi@ipcconsultants.com.

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