What is the distinction between being a leader and being a manager? I would posit that a leader does what is right and has the ability to motivate and inspire people to achieve what they could not ordinarily achieve by themselves. A leader is also a visionary and provides the road map showing the direction an organization is taking. I would say that a manager takes instructions and carries them out.
How do you respond to being micromanaged?
How do you respond to working for a good leader?
As a Certified Executive and Leadership Development Coach, I have observed many leaders and leadership styles. Having served as a leader within several Fortune 500 companies, I have observed how micromanaging employees can create poor employee morale and lack of trust.
Micromanagement is a destructive management style in which the supervisor closely observes or controls the work of the employee, and it can have negative and long-term effects on a business’s success. It ties up management in issues that other employees are better suited to address, resulting in time and productivity loss. It also displays a lack of trust in employee performance and ability, which leads to employee frustration, demotivation, and burnout. When employees feel they have little control or power over their own work, they can become resentful, disengaged and less likely to contribute to their full potential.
Signs that a manager is micromanaging include inability to delegate tasks to appropriate stakeholders, discouraging employees from solving problems or making decisions without consulting them first, overseeing the tiny details of a project rather than looking at the big picture, and taking over tasks that others are responsible for completing.
A coach must first make the micromanager aware of his management style in order change the micromanager’s behavior. The micromanager must then recognize his style before taking steps to mitigate it. Acknowledgement of the problem is the first step toward solving the problem. Through self-assessment, and with the use of a 360 degree assessment tool that will provide the manager feedback from peers, micromanagers can identify what areas they tend to manage the most and what areas need improvement. As a coach, setting checkpoint milestones for projects, and committing to checking up only at those milestones, as well as investing in both employee and management professional development can go a long way towards better management practices. Micromanagers should also make a concerted effort to focus on the bigger picture, and delegate smaller details to employees. It is the coached duty to ensure this happens.
It is imperative that every manager know how to lead and every leader know how to manage. Both skill sets are essential to a successful organization. As a coach, I play a significant role in developing high performance cultures. Effective management practices are essential to cultivating a satisfying, high performance business culture, and companies where the managers empower employees rather than direct them tend to be the most productive.
© 2012, Dr. Terry Jackson. All rights reserved.