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Dealing with Today's Micromanagers

Have you ever worked hard on a project and then at the last minute had your manager jump in on an email chain and start making demands and changes without knowing the full context? If so, you aren’t alone. Today’s micromanager is likely someone who wants things their way, but doesn’t provide much context, support, or advice on how to get there. Micromanagement can be a different experience on the frontline compared to teams working from home, but the negative effects are the same.

Here are some tips on how to fix micromanagement in your organization:

1. Create a Culture of Shared Accountability - When a relationship becomes a partnership instead of "if this goes down I go down" mentality, people will behave differently. Trust will be created and all parties will want to be good teammates. Shared ownership will make employees and managers answer:

  • How do we work together on this?

  • How do we get work done for our organization?

2. Focus on Strengths - Micromanagers act that way because they want things to turn out right and they are trying to play “manager.” If you assign the right person to a job, and following our delegating process, managers should feel less anxious about the work getting done right.

3. Feedback Should Be Ongoing - The conversations should be continuous. The old way of meeting once a year to discuss goals and performance isn’t going to cut it. Goals and priorities will change and the conversations should keep up. Leaders and employees should work together to determine the best way to communicate.

4. Emphasize Development - Being a manager isn’t just about the here and now, it is about helping your employees grow and get to where they want to be. Companies get better when their people get better. People want new challenges and new responsibilities. As manager, it is part of your job to understand this and make employee development one of your highest priorities.

5. Celebrate the Right Things - Is your organization only celebrating the manager when things go right? In order to stop micromanaging, you need to make sure your company rewards team efforts, outstanding individual team-members and cross-team partnerships. Companies tend to feed into the micromanagement systems through their recognition programs and reward systems without even realizing it.

Managers need to start looking at themselves as coaches instead of bosses. Actions and conversations build trust. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you are willing to work at it, your company and employees will benefit in the long run.

This blog post is based off a recent article written by Gallup. To learn more about this topic, check out the full article here.


We now provide virtual culture facilitation, leadership coaching, and DiSC communication techniques.

Email or call Margie Adams at 303-809-8093.

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