Five Questions to Determine If You Are a Micromanager

January 21, 2016

There is a distinct difference between micromanaging and being involved in your employees’ work lives.  A survey published in the book My Way or the Highway showed that 79% of respondents had experienced micromanagement.  Worse yet, 69% considered changing jobs because of being micromanaged. 


Determine if you are a micromanager by posing the following questions which have been adapted from a Wrike quiz.

Weekly meetings are typically when:

You do most of the talking and your employees sit quietly.

There is a healthy exchange of updates and ideas between you and your employees.

Employees who participate in discussions during meetings are more engaged and enthusiastic about their roles than those who are not.  Therefore, if you chose ‘a,’ you are most likely a micromanager.

You consider brainstorming sessions:

An opportunity to hear and discuss new ideas and suggestions so as to derive the best solution

A complete waste of time since everyone always ends up adopting your suggestion

Strong managers know how to coach employees during brainstorming sessions rather than be a primary contributor of ideas.  If your employees are hesitant to offer their input, they may feel uncomfortable or that their ideas will be rejected because the team always follows yours.  As such, if you chose ‘c,’ you are probably a micromanager.

When a new employee joins the team, you:

Do a peer trial run of the task and offer your assistance—even ask their opinion on a few topics

Walk them through every single task for a few days until they officially can replicate what you taught them

New-hires’ desire to learn is thwarted when which micromanagers painstakingly delineate and describe every single task required of the new employee.  When teaching a process, they may walk the new-hire through the steps once and allow her to then do them on her own.  They make themselves available for questions instead of constantly questioning the new-hire, hence ‘a’ is the correct answer.

When someone asks you for help, you:

Solve the problem quickly on their behalf since it’s simple for you and this way, they don’t have to worry about extra work

Teach them how to solve the problem

Powerful managers understand that problem analysis and solution generation are keys to employee growth.  Rather than solve the problem on their behalf, strong managers coach the employee through how to solve the problem or answer ‘b.’

When delegating tasks, you typically:

Reject the notion since you can quickly take care of it yourself.

Assign the task and give an overview of the details and expectations.

Some managers avoid delegation because they have been let-down in the past and assume that they will ultimately end up completing the task anyway.  This mindset stymies employee growth.  Delegating effectively is an eight step process that is taught in the Dale Carnegie Leadership Training for Managers course.  Consider enrolling to learn the comprehensive skills required to be a successful leader.

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