An Open Letter To Micromanagers: Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

The other day I had a screaming match via text with my partner on the bus, when I felt someone looking over my shoulder. 

I was annoyed. Who are you to be judging my erratic finger-typing and capitalised sentences, I thought. 

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The woman tapped me on the back and said, “Just so you know, it’s you’re when referring to ‘you are’ “. 

I immediately stopped the text war with my boyfriend; his terrible dishwasher-stacking-technique was now the least of my worries; I had a new nemesis– unfriendly-bus-lady.

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I turned around to unfriendly-bus-lady and politely said, “Sorry, this is none of your business!”. See, I can tell the difference between your and you’re. 

This scenario felt far too familiar, especially when it comes to micromanagers and the workplace. The ‘looking over your shoulder feeling’ is common among those who have experienced classic micromanager behaviour. 

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Whether it’s dictating your font from Times New Roman to Arial or wanting to be cc’d in on every email– micromanagers are the downright worst. 

But there’s one thing unfriendly-bus-lady and micromanagers have in common– they love control.

The fear of loss of control presents itself in two ways. Firstly, managers can often feel disconnected from their team. As they’ve risen through the ranks, they worry about losing touch; therefore, they compensate with an overbearing presence, watching their employees every move. 

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Secondly, micromanagers are perfectionists and often fear their employees will not deliver the same results that they could achieve individually. 

While some micromanagers are plain sadistic, others are natural-born leaders that let power get to their head. However, for any micromanager reading this (you know who you are), there are ways you can lessen your unbearable-control-freak vibe. 

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1. Trust

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Trusting your employees is of paramount importance. Think about how it feels when your wife messages asking you to remember to get the olive oil for the 80th time. It’s pretttttty annoying. Like there’s a 50 per cent chance you will forget, but c’monnnn! Your employees are hired because of their competence, and they will flourish when you let them.

2. Have An Open-Door Policy

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If you’re always looking over your employee’s shoulder, it’s likely they will never ask you for help when they need it. Instead of constantly being on their back, allow your team members to come to you for help. Having an open-door policy means employees will want to take advantage of your assistance and will be more productive knowing the door is always open. 

3. Delegation 

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By delegating tasks, you’re giving your staff complete autonomy. This enables workers to take responsibility and ownership over their work. Through the process of delegation, you’re still able to have *authority,* but your staff members will appreciate the independence. 

And there you have it you psychopaths, three ways to tone it down and stop sweating the small stuff! At the end of the day, providing feedback, guidance and support is exactly what a manager should do. But try leaving the binoculars at home.

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