In today’s volatile employment sector, one needs to have a certain endurance to survive an abusive work environment. We all know how negative it can be working with a micro-manager but there are also ways that you can outlast and potentially prosper from this experience. As with most interactions, if we can find the root cause of the behaviors, we can fix the problem and move forward.
What are the common factors that can lead to micro-managing people?
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree theory ~ If your manager is micro-managing, there is a good chance that he/she is being micromanaged as well. Perhaps, this is a cultural thing as it relates to your company and or the marketplace. Typically, in highly regulated industries, there is a greater propensity for all levels of management to be monitoring many aspects of the business. Culturally when a business is built on the bottom-line results, there is also a greater tendency to be over-indulging in MM.
Poorly Developed Managers ~ A general lack of management development and training can cause managers to MM. When managers lack confidence or positive role models, the incidence of MM increases. It is also evident when tensions arise due to increased pressure to perform. It also occurs when the manager takes exception to the poor habits of one employee and replicates the unacceptable behavior to others on the team without due cause.
Factors unrelated to business ~ Changes in one’s personal life can also have a dramatic effect on the way that the individual manages. If there are stressful situations at home, it is often carried out to the workplace.
Here are some tips on helping to avoid that result by better “managing” your MM.
- Talk with your MM and try to keep the focus on some of the positive direction that he/she gives you. Most times, a MM has been promoted due to some very constructive skills. Try to bring out those skills that you are so thankful for. For example, it may be analysis where he can data mine and bring up great suggestions for future business. Compliment him on that and then tactfully let him know that this is the kind of direction and counseling that you need. This will help him stay on course on the positive things that he can bring to you.
- In line with the fact that more than likely your manager is somewhat micromanaged, be willing to empathize with your MM. Offer to help out if at all possible. He can’t be everywhere and if you can assist, perhaps he will lighten up a bit. Once again, this typically happens in a very competitive market where sales are critical and much pressure is on performance.
- Don’t draw attention to yourself for missed assignments or tardy reports. If expenses are due on Friday, get them in on time. These are “must do” administrative tasks that are part of company protocol. As a team member, share this with your colleagues and it will help “de-pressurize” your MM. If you can empathize and walk in your managers’ shoes once in a while, it will help you better understand his need to get everyone compliant. Recognizing this and managing your MM will help him become a better leader.