12 Signs You Might Be a Micromanager

Find Out If You Are a Contributing to the Ugly Cycle of Micromanagement

••• Jim Craigmyle / Corbis / Getty Images

Micromanagement happens when a business owner or manager insists on excessive control over the work process. They delegate work, yet still want to be involved with every single detail of the work, often causing delays and frustration throughout the team.

If your employees or team members think you're micromanaging, not only is your effectiveness as a team leader in jeopardy, but the work product is likely to suffer as well.

As a small business owner who is both financially and emotionally invested in your business, the idea of stepping back and letting go is probably frightening to you. That's why it's so important to choose the right team members, learn how to delegate effectively, and understand the value of relinquishing your choke hold on your business processes.

12 Signs You Might Be Micromanaging

It is possible to be a micromanager and not even know it. That's because there is a fine line between being a thorough manager who wants to his or her team to put out the best results possible and succumbing to micromanagement.

To help you identify where you fall on the management scale, here are a few signs that you might be crossing the micromanagement line:

  1. You have more work than you can handle because you can’t delegate effectively.
  2. You frequently assign work, then take it back because it’s not getting done the way you want it done.
  1. You tell your team exactly how you want things done and leave them no room for them to take initiative.
  2. You continuously take on project manager roles, even when there already is a project manager.
  3. You rarely complete projects on time because you can’t get past the details.
  4. You need to know what everyone is doing, all the time.
  1. Your team avoids you and all one-on-one conversations with you.
  2. You don't let any of your team members contribute ideas, communicate with clients or even talk to each other.
  3. You become the bottleneck because everyone is always waiting for your approval on everything.
  4. Your team has unreasonably high turnover.
  5. You question the processes followed, work completed and proposed next steps at every status meeting.
  6. You feel that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

If most of these statements sound like you, you are probably a micromanager. Does it really matter? The answer is YES.

How Micromanagement Can Hurt Your Business

If you are not sure you see the damage that can be caused by micromanagement, here are a few reminders:

  • Micromanagement tells your team that you don't trust them or respect their work.
  • Micromanagement strips all sense of ownership your team members have in their work.
  • Micromanagement makes it difficult for you to grow your business because you never have enough time to look ahead.
  • Micromanagement causes work to be redone over and over, wasting time that could be spent much more productively.
  • Micromanagement can make your team members lose confidence in themselves and their ability to get the job done.
  • Micromanagement makes everyone involved frustrated and resentful.
  • Micromanagement can cause procrastination and time management disasters.
  • Micromanagement prevents team members from developing the skills and knowledge they need to work autonomously.

If you are delegating work, you are on the right path, but once any micromanagement tendencies you have start to kick in, you may as well just revert back to the early days of your business when you did every single thing yourself. That's not an option, right?

The good news is that you can beat micromanagement and because a better leader. But you need to be ready to break the micromanagement cycle before you do any more damage.

Continue reading for tips on how to stop micromanaging.