The Daily Challenge: Micromanager


Consider your tendencies as a manager - do you tend to micromanage?

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Time to Read: 3 mins

Sometimes it can be a question of wanting to stay in control and have maximum oversight, other times it's due to a lack of trust in your team members capabilities or feelings of insecurity.

Micromanaging can also be a question of really enjoying particular responsibilities and tasks and not wanting to give them up.

Whatever the reasons, micromanagement leads to inefficiency and impacts your ability to be productive.

It takes away from your team members’ ability to learn and develop and impacts their feeling of autonomy which can have an adverse effect on motivation.

Based on their study, Hurley and Ryman point out that executives' struggles around moving from manager to leaders are significantly impacted by managers’ ability (or rather lack of ability) to move away from being a micromanager.

They consider perfectionism to be the cause of micromanagement.

Hurley and Ryman suggest a 4 phase framework, EMPWR, to move from micromanager to empowering leader. Today, take a few minutes to consider the phases of this model to identify tendencies to micromanage you could let go of.

Step 1: Explore. Reflect on whether you have a tendency to micromanage. Are there particular areas where you tend to do this more and areas where you do it less? Why is that - can you identify patterns or a common thread?

Step 2: Make a commitment to change. Once you have explored and diagnosed the areas where you may need to make a change, it’s time to make a commitment to change. What behavior can you commit to changing?

Step 3: Program yourself for behavior change. Just like with any habit change, you need to start small - for example, a commitment to make one change. You also need to identify the triggers to the behavior you want to change so you can break the habit loop.

Step 4: Watch and measure results. Decide how you will stay committed to the behavior change, how you will test it out and measure your success.

Pro Tip: Consider where you can explicitly delegate ownership of a responsibility or project to a team member. What do you need from the team member to feel assured that they will take care of the project or responsibility to help you feel like you don't need to get involved? Consider how you might discuss expectations in a way that ensures your team member has the information they need to be successful.

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