24 July 2019

How to tell if you’re becoming a toxic micromanager

Anyone who has ever been an employee knows that micromanagers cause high-stress levels and insufferable displeasure in the workplace. This toxic leadership style also lowers the morale of the team, which ultimately leads to reduced productivity. Micromanaging is the most horrible adversary of efficiency and teamwork.

With my years of experience as a Business Coach, I’ve learned that no business leader ever wants to be a micromanager — at least knowingly. In fact, to be a repulsive leader who everyone hates is something most leaders fear the most. However, the distinction between an effective manager and a micromanager is at times unclear, because one might find it hard to resist the temptation because of their passion to achieve their goals. Sometimes, leaders just don’t trust their people enough for them not to interfere and constantly annoy everyone.

Here are the classic symptoms:

You like having lengthy meetings even when there’s no need

Do you often use any excuse just to call everybody for a long meeting? And do these meetings have nothing to do with work productivity or achieving immediate goals? Do you often require everyone’s presence even when what you’re supposed to discuss is only relevant to a few? This is the most common indication of being a micromanager. When you end up just wasting valuable time and resources just to get across a message that could’ve been disseminated through email or discussed at a later time, you’re only killing efficiency and momentum.

Not having control causes you irrational anxiety and fear

Are you constantly obsessed with knowing what and how your team is currently doing? Sometimes that’s normal, especially when you’re in a critical point wherein everything has to be perfect or a huge opportunity would be lost. But if paranoia is a constant thing in your mind even on a regular day, then you’re probably preoccupied by making sure everything is done your way. That means you’re always giving instructions without giving a chance to your team to contribute ideas. You’re always checking up on them to see if your plans are carried out exactly the way you want them. Eventually, you’ll end up crushing your team’s creativity and self-worth.

In your mind, your team’s work is always second-rate to yours, and only you can come up with the best approach to any task

When you have this kind of mentality, your actions will always manifest that everyone around you is poor at their job, and that they always need to depend on you to get things done. You don’t allow them the chance to use their own brain juice and competence to make a valuable contribution. You make decisions based on your own knowledge of things, believing that your team’s opinions don’t count.

Your refusal to delegate has transformed you into a one-man show

Business leaders should have a different set of daily tasks compared to subordinates, because there are more important things to plan for and decide on. However, if you’re regularly overloaded with minor chores that could’ve been easily assigned to other people, then you’re the glaring definition of a micromanager. The willingness to delegate responsibilities should be a natural thing for true leaders. But if you lack faith in your team’s capabilities and bear the brunt of the amount of work needed to be accomplished within the day, then eventually you’ll start to feel the resentment of your people towards you become more apparent.

You may have the best intentions at heart, but without proper feedback and guidance, you may end up crossing over to becoming a dreaded micromanager. If you feel that you need a better perspective of your leadership style, work with a Business Coach like me. My extensive clientele consists of companies based in all of the Midlands including Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire. Discover how REACH Business Coaching can help you grow your business by attending our free workshops and seminars.

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