Word-Of-the-Week #900: Obsessive

November 4, 2021 by  

Obsessive – excessive in degree or nature.

Does management ever get caught up on unimportant details? Do you feel they acknowledge all your accomplishments?

This is the 2nd half of “4 Signs You’re A Micromanager At Work. There’s a key difference between being attentive and being a controlling, obsessive manager,” by Monica Torres at HuffPost.

To Recap:

“When does managing someone turn into the unwanted and unhelpful monitoring of their performance? There are many reasons a manager may need to take a more hands-on approach to productivity, but micromanagement often stems from the worry that an employee can’t do the job well without the manager’s close supervision.

If you are wondering whether your constant check-ins and requests for status updates have veered into micromanagement, here are signs to consider:

  1. You check in only because you are anxious.
  2. You assign without clear expectations of when, how or why you want a task done.
  3. You focus too much on the small stuff.

Micromanagers can get too caught up on the unimportant details of how a job should get done and miss out on the impact of what their employees accomplish.

“This can be frustrating, because employees are looking to leaders to think about the big picture and have vision. Valuing small stuff over the more impactful whole can be demoralizing and frustrating,” said Angela Karachristos, a career coach who previously worked in human resources.

“For example, if a report for a major project was done and done on time, but the manager is hyper-focused on one word or image that was ― in their opinion ― out of place, that would constitute a micromanager.”

  1. You are convinced that your way is always the best way to get things done.

“Another sign of a micromanager is that they want to groom their employees to work just like them,” Karachristos said. “They tend to communicate in a way that suggests there is only ‘one right way.’ This can be stifling to creativity and motivation.”

This narrow thinking is a common mistake people make as first-time managers; they believe that everybody should behave exactly as they behave and want the same things that they want because it’s what worked for them as an individual performer.

Karachristos said that if a task can only be done one way, that expectation should be set upfront and you should offer helpful feedback to get the work to that standard.

Although forcing projects to be done your way can get the job done, it’s not an effective long-term strategy if you want your team to be at their best. Ng said that if you are not clear about the why, how, what and when behind assigning tasks, then employees will likely not do the job the way you want. As a result, you’ll feel the need to micromanage.

In this way, micromanagement becomes a lose-lose: Bosses are stuck with more work, and employees lose out on valuable learning opportunities.

“Micromanagement might get you what you want in the short run, but, in failing to educate, enable and empower your team, you’ll need to micromanage again and again,” Ng said. “The more you take over, the more people will expect you to take over ― and the more people will shy away from doing anything without you dictating every next move.”

This week is all about not being obsessive. Does management focus too much on the small stuff? Do you ever feel they are convinced that their way is the only right way to do something? Do you feel fully empowered and supported by management?

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