Sunday, September 26, 2010


I'd like to know the very specific definition of micromanaging.  The reason I want to know is because it is very difficult to work for a manager who is a micro manager.  What do you do then when you are instructed to follow in these same ways?  Here's the scenario.  Let's say you are a hard worker who has been in management for many years.  You are hired into a management position and given a lot of room to do your job.  As time goes on, you continue to acquire more and more responsibility.  Along with this responsibility comes inside knowledge of how things really work behind the scenes.  You begin to see all the managers for who they really are and not who they appear to be in front of everyone else.  Now you are really noticing that the complaints you have been hearing over the years about being micromanaged are actually noticeable.  So, going forward, you decide this is definitely not for you.  You have no intentions of ever managing like this.  You've always been really good about hiring good people that you can trust to do their jobs well so you don't have to micromanage them.  You've always been taught that if you give your employees their instructions and trust them to do their jobs, they will follow through.  If you treat your people well, they will work well for you.  You have now spent many years working for a manager who is a micro manager.  You are also well aware that his manager is a micro manager as well and pushes for things to be done that way.  You are going to be promoted within a year and your boss is retiring.  You are beginning to find yourself falling into the trap of micromanaging as well.  How does this come about?  How do you fix it before it is too late?  How do you not alienate your employees during this transition period?


  1. I am not really sure how to answer the specific questions asked becasue I think it would vary case by case person to person. I would not change my mgt. style to fit in, if I wanted to keep my job I would try to hide my mgt. style as long as possible until I could find a job that I fit into the company culture. If I could not affrod to risk job loss I would try to relate my feelings to the boss and if that went no where I would tell the people being managed that I am micro managing you becasue I am being forced too, it is not my choice.

  2. Definitely tricky. I always found that the greatest leaders I worked for were NOT micromanagers. They had a trusting and motivating management style that made the employees want to do their best. Nobody every wanted to disappoing the one manager we had. By far, the best leader I ever came across.
    However, those managers also didn't put up with crap. There were clear expectations set at the beginning of the relationship and it was understood that they would treat you like a respected adult. Badgering would not be necessary as long as you got the job done.However, if you slip up and lose that trust, then they were definitely on your back.
    Before long, reputations were established by their personality traits and management styles. Almost everyone wanted to be on my team to work for that manager.

  3. It does depend on the organization and the culture. If you're a manager, and the senior managers (your bosses) are constantly looking over your work, and offering recommendations then it would appear that micro-managing is part of the culture of that organization. If you happen to like the other managers you work with, as well as your subordinates, then you stick with it. I suppose you would realize that this style of micro-managing is the accepted form at the organization. So long as you can rely on the assistance of your peer managers to help you and each other out, especially when it comes to the "higher-ups," then you just deal with it. Now, if you don't honestly enjoy the product or service that your organization provides, AND you don't much get along with your peer managers, you may have an issue. It's my belief that sometimes you fit in, and sometimes you don't. That question can only be answered by looking yourself in the mirror. Only you know if you belong there or not; if this is the type of place you can see yourself working at long-term.
    Management styles vary from place-to-place as we all know, but if the personalities of the co-workers are aligned with your own, and the peer managers and senior managers genuinely want you to succeed, then I think we all can adjust; even if its a micro-managing situation. If you feel there is a support system there, then you'll find a way to persevere. If not, then cordially resign...sooner rather than later.

  4. It’s difficult to go against the corporate culture of a company but I think it can work. I’m saying that I would support your decision to be a macro-manager. Essentially, you’re giving the employees some room to make decisions and mistakes for themselves. At the same time, you must be prepared to report to a micro-mgr. As long as you’re able to pull the information you need, then you should be okay to manage according to your style. I’m no manager in my workplace, however, I deal with all of the sales executives who like to know their numbers at any given second. It’s frustrating when you have to take time to pull the numbers when the time can be better spent on other work.

    It’s hard to say which style is better than the other, but I would try to avoid micromanagement. I might be a little biased though.

  5. I think the most important thing in not micromanaging your employees is giving them room to make their own mistakes. Of course you can't just cut them lose and let them sink or swim, but you do need to give them room. What's important is that they are able to learn from their mistakes and that you help to guide them in the right direction.

    Although you don't want to micromanage, its always important to follow up on the goals and expectations you have set. Remember, you must inspect what you expect.