Coaching: “Directing, instructing, and training to achieve some goal or develop specific skills.”

Micromanaging: “Supervision with excessive/obsessive control or attention on details.”

No leader, no manager sets out to micromanage; every human being has a strong desire to be successful, Team Members WANT the team to WIN.

So how and why does micromanagement occur?

– The skill set that got a manager to a senior position isn’t always what they need once they are there: Many managers rose through the ranks by staying in control and paying attention to detail. That works great… up to a point. Then the manager reaches a position where THEY no longer do great things, they must empower, lead, and enable OTHERS to do great things; a mega change!

 – Managers want to win too… and Managers DO know a LOT, and they often can do it faster, better… they just can’t do it ALL; hence the need to let go and watch others make mistakes on their dollar, name, and time! Ouch! It hurts. But for every mistake, hopefully many, many other things are done right and the mission moves forward.

– Sometimes it’s legitimate coaching! Often folks think they know more than they do or they underestimate the complexity of the situation they are facing or they do not fully understand the possible ramifications of their actions. What to a manager is legitimate coaching and setting of guidelines may be labeled micromanagement by a subordinate.

Communication is vital. Establishing clarity around scope, desired results, and reporting requirements, and creating an ongoing dialogue go a long way to establish mutual understanding re common vision and shared goals. The more a manager feels that a subordinate is coachable and listens and comprehends, the more confidence they will have and more authority and freedom they will give.

Closing Quotes:

“A manager is not a person who can do the work better than others, a manager is a person who can get others to do the work better than she can.” – Unknown

“Micromanage the Process, not the People.” Joe Apfelbaum, CEO/Co-founder of Ajax Union

“Micromanaging is always something we accuse others of doing.” – Ryan w 37 Signals

“Micromanaging is a form of anxiety that manifests itself as controlling behavior.” – Sharon Rivkinn

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier