By Linda Fisher Thornton
Micromanaging is not just another “leadership style.” It harms people. When leaders micromanage, they send many negative messages to employees. Take a look at this list of more than 20 negative unspoken messages micromanagement sends to employees. Can you afford to let this happen in your organization?
The Unspoken Messages of Micromanagement
- I don’t think you can do it
- I know how to do it and you don’t
- I don’t trust you
- If I leave you alone, you’ll mess things up
- Do what I say
- Don’t think for yourself
- I’m in control
- If I didn’t think of it, I won’t like it
- I see everything you do.
- I don’t respect you
- I’m the one who matters on this team
- I’ll be looking over your shoulder
- I know I’m going to catch you doing something wrong
- I’m not here to be liked
- I’m going to find every mistake you make and call it to your attention
- I’m not here to cater to you
- You’ll never move up in this company
- Your motivation is irrelevant
- I may be doing this because I’m insecure about my leadership
- I need to feel important
- I may not have had any positive leadership role models
- I may think this is what good leadership looks like
- I don’t think you know what you’re doing
- I don’t care if this behavior makes you uncomfortable
- I may have been promoted too soon, before I learned how to lead others
Micromanagement may result from a high need for control or an unwillingness/inability to trust. A leader may not have had a positive leadership role model, or may have been promoted without any leadership development and left to sink or swim. These are just a few of the possible causes. If your boss is micromanaging you, you might find this helpful: 15 Ways to Get Your Boss to Stop Micromanaging You. If you think you might be a micromanager, you might want to read Signs That You’re a Micromanager.
If you are an employer and a leader in your organization is micromanaging, you’ll need to act fast to provide development and coaching so the leader doesn’t send all of those negative messages to your talented employees. Otherwise, those essential and talented employees you thought were on a long-term career path with your firm may be heading for the career exit.
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