b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: Are You Asking For It?

5/10/2006

 

Are You Asking For It?

I found an article on http://www.allbusiness.com/ titled “The Dangers of Being a Micromanager”. In it, the author says that some employees tend to want to be micromanaged.

Really? Let’s take a look at this. What are some reasons why some supervisors micromanage?

1. The manager has an obsessive/compulsive need to be in control. Trust me on this one, there is no way that an employee wants to be caught in this mess. It is an outright ugly and demeaning situation to find oneself in. The manager will not change but rather make your life miserable. Get into another department or look for another job.

2. There is lack of trust in the relationship. There could be a few reasons this occurs. Maybe the employee did something that questions their ability to get the job done and the supervisor is required to step in. The other reason could be one that stems from #1. If the manager needs to be in control, they will never trust anyone to step in to do the job as well as they can. While this may or may not be the case, it does nothing to foster the subordinate’s self-confidence to be able to do the job. It causes doubt and then people are miserable on all sides. Not a good place to be in.

3. The subordinate is not capable of making any decisions on their own. This is the only scenario that has a shot at being valid for micromanaging. Believe me, I’m not saying that this is right… I’m only giving a nod that this happens and may not be the manager’s fault.

So you need to ask yourself: Who is this person that I hired that cannot convey a complete thought without my help? Chances are, if you hired them, they have at least half a brain to do the job.

Have they been trained properly? Perhaps the questions stem from confusion over how to complete certain tasks. Revisit these things as appropriate.

Are they making the same mistakes over and over? Perhaps they don’t understand the job properly or maybe they’re just not cut out for the work. If after some coaching, the individual still shows zero aptitude for their job responsibilities, it may be time to cut the ties and set them free. Hopefully, they’ll see that the relationship isn’t working out and agree to an amicable split.

However, through all of that, not once do I get an image in my head that anyone is going to want to be micromanaged. There’s a big difference between asking a question for help and not knowing how to do the job. If the employee seeks constant reinforcement on the same issues, then it is the manager’s job to properly mentor the employee and foster and a strong working relationship. Sometimes people need to be encouraged to take changes or accept accountability. If the person is that insecure about doing the job, then it really needs to be asked if their career goals are realistic. It may be time to shift gears and try something else.

Don’t babysit your staff. Trust me – they don’t want it.

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