Micro Managers – The Never-Ending Tale of UGH!

1. “How do I get the message to my boss that she is a micro-manager and what it’s doing to our department?”

Answer: There is no easy answer to this question and it was the most asked question I received. However, let me make this suggestion…. Hopefully in your department there is at least one person that the “boss” will listen to without retaliation. I say that because when a person is told that he/she is overbearing, they become defensive, argumentative and even hostile. If you have someone that can bring the subject up to the boss and perhaps set up a meeting for all that is designed to be constructive and the “boss” will accept the opportunity to listen, then the battle is half won. If not, you probably need some outside help.

2. “How do you keep a manager from blocking your growth or promotion?” Another question that has been asked several times. Insecure managers block people from promotions because they reached a comfort zone and THEY don’t want the boat rocked by anybody but themselves. The only answer here is set your goals in advance with your manager by getting the manager to agree to a “plan.” Giving the plan to the manager in writing and getting them to sign off is usually the best. Be the bigger person and keep the manager informed, that way there is only one direction and that is forward.

3. “I have been accused more than once of being a micro-manager. What can I do to improve this perception of me?”

a. I assume that you [are] acknowledging that there is a problem, is a huge step forward and here are a few suggestions for you.

i. DON’T talk the talk, WALK the walk

ii. Empower your employees by soliciting ideas, improvements and betterments

iii. DON’T you ever take the credit. Give all the acclimates to the person(s) making the suggestion(s) and/or the entire team. Be proud of THEM, not you.

iv. When asking for suggestions, request that a team member define what they deem to be the problem and offer a suggestion. One without the other is weak at best.

v. If the employee doesn’t have an answer to a perceived problem, bring the conversation to the team and make it a team decision.

vi. Once the team agrees to take a plan of action, THEY OWN IT, let them run with it. Give guidance only when you see a major catastrophe in the making.

vii. If the plan succeeds, again I emphasize, “give credit to the team not you”

viii. If the plan fails all or in part, then don’t chastise but use the team to see where it went wrong and correct so it doesn’t happen again.

ix. Bottom line, BACK YOUR TEAM COME HELL OR HIGH WATER! Throwing a team member “under the bus” is the sign of a poor manager and a poor leader.

If there are any other questions you’d like me to address in the weeks to come, just send me an Email. I hope you will spend this week making your place of employment a better place to work. Strive to get smiles on faces and a bounce in their (and your) step as your team performs their assigned tasks. You will be amazed at the increase in productivity, morale and pride.


Best Regards, George