Are You Working Under a Micromanager?

When someone has been termed a micromanager at one time or another in their working career, it probably is not something they wanted to rush ahead and place on their resume for all the world to see.

Not only does the term bring unwanted attention to the individual, but it can also lead to an unproductive work environment where workers feel their every move and decision is being questioned.

So just how do people end up becoming micromanagers? Is it something they learn in college or while on the job?

How an individual ends up a micromanager can sometimes be traced back to how they were managed in the different jobs they held. Sometimes they will transfer those traits onto their own managerial positions, while other times they are able to recognize the signs and avoid such managing.

If you think you may be working under a micromanager, here are some things to look for:

  • The individual is not entirely comfortable with letting someone run with a project -They continuously step in on the project and offer their advice, two cents, etc. creating a less than ideal working environment. At the end of the day, such actions can definitely lead to a lack of employee morale;
  • The manager takes back and/or reworks a project –  Instead of letting those under them work on and fix issues, the micromanager must “clean-up” the matter. This shows that the micromanager does not trust those under them to deal with problems;
  • The need for continuous updates – While most companies hold a meeting or meetings each week, the micromanager seeks updates on projects over and over again. This is another sign that they need to be in the loop and in control all the time, therefore potentially limiting the productivity level of those under them. This holds especially true if the micromanager is supposed to be off from work, yet they call or email in to see what is going on;
  • The desire for permission – While the manager should be in control and have the final say, always seeking permission from one’s workers in order for them to proceed with tasks can inhibit productivity. This is yet another sign that the micromanager wants each and every decision from start to finish on a project going through them;
  • The need to withhold all pertinent information – Yes, some information is not for all ears, but micromanagers tend to want to manage all information and decide what details are for worker ears and what are not. By doing so, the micromanager feels a sense of power, yet is actually undermining the efforts of their department;
  • Lastly, you are left to feel like whatever amount of effort you apply to your job, it is never quite good enough. The micromanager wants things done their way 100 percent of the time, nothing less will suffice. In those cases, the micromanager will take on the assignment and craft it to how they want it done, in the process lowering the morale of the workers under them.

These are but a few of the telltale signs of a micromanager.

Many micromanagers do not set out to be just that, while others have in mind the goal from day one.

If you find yourself working under a micromanager, talk with them or another higher up about the issue and what possible resolution the two of you can come to.

At the end of the day, just be thankful you can leave the micromanager behind at the office each day when you leave.

You can, can’t you?

Have you or are you presently working under a micromanager? If so, how are you dealing with it?


Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas, who writes on subjects such as VoIP phone service , writes extensively for San Diego-based

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