5 Things that Happen While you Micromanage: A Behind the Scene’s Look at your Team

“She’s killing everyone inside.”, is a sentence I’ve literally heard escape the mouth of a peer before I never saw them at work again. I feel the pain many others have felt and that feeling is equivalent to stubbing your toe repeatedly on a metal bed frame. If you micromanage your team you may be causing people unnecessary stress.

Micromanagement, by definition, is “a management style whereby a manager closely observes and/or controls the work of his/her subordinates or employees.”

Please understand I know your struggle. It’s not easy managing a team and it’s certainly a hard task. I understand that in every leadership role there may be some sort of pressure over you as well.  I’m a fan of the expression, “shit rolls downhill.”. Your leader may have expectations around data or numbers and you are accountable. FANTASTIC. I see the bigger picture behind your actions so I’m not ignorantly rattling off hatred. However, you need to open your eyes and see the effects your management style has on others.

Here are 5 things that are happening while you micromanage:

1. We lose trust

I’m not crying out for a best friend at work but if you micromanage, you probably aren’t being very personable. You may only focus on the numbers and not the relationships. Think about the differences in managing a team and leading a team. Your goal should be mutual respect. 

Build a team that wants to go to war for you, not a team who is afraid to innovate and make things better in the long run because they’re afraid to get reamed when you don’t get your quarterly bonus. Don’t become distraught by past state.  It’s fine to analyze historical data but keep the current and future state of operations free from unnecessary stress. Trust is probably the most valuable asset you’ll lose if you micromanage.

2. We all talk shit on you

Yep. Read that again. We all talk shit on you. You decided to breathe down our necks, tell us how to do a job that you don’t even do and there is no better joy than coming together as a team to rip you apart. But we enjoy the fact that you’re clueless because we already lost faith in you.

You could make a comeback into our lives by offering space and freedom’s necessary to keep a professional, well-balanced workflow.

I have even been on teams where the first time we came together as a single unit was to be petty about our manager. Oh the irony.

3. We’re quick to make assumptions

Every time you deliver information, you’re to blame. It becomes easy to connect negative communications to you.  Think about this; Your team has spent most of their day complaining or partaking in a negative conversation about you (because they hate you)  and you deliver some information from your leader around operation changes. We aren’t your best friend at this point so most of what you say is going to be taken personally as if this change was your bright idea.

Most employee’s don’t understand your role so building a little rapport so we trust, or attempt to consider, the things that spew out of your mouth hole probably isn’t a bad idea.

4. We care less about our performance

STICK IT TO THE MAN! When micromanaged, it’s common for your team to perform worse. They don’t necessarily want to do better statistically and they definitely aren’t going to put in more hours to succeed. If we don’t care about our performance, it’s also likely you’re going to oversee every bit of work being done which is just a never-ending cycle of micromanagement.

To resolve this issue, you might just have to be the bigger person and rebuild trust. You didn’t get where you are today because you lack the skills to lead a team. Channel the fire you once had or some other Confucius mumbo jumbo.

5. We spend most of our free time looking for other opportunities

I have been a part of teams where everyone is so miserable that their main focus becomes what’s next. It’s extremely important to develop and never stop learning but when you don’t have a team that’s all in when they’re supposed to be, you’re going to fail.

Stalking online job boards is common for someone who is being micromanaged. The quality of life this person has is poor. Spending most of your work day complaining about your job and then going home after a long day of complaining to do more complaining and trying to find somewhere else to work so you can stop complaining and then you sometimes complain about how much you complain…. you get the picture… It’s just toxic.

Want to make things better? The problem starts with you. Check out my post, “Why Mindset Matters“.

Be a Leader, not a Manager.

Don’t believe me? Try this bestseller Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t



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