"I wonder what Sam is up to in accounting?"
"Micromanaging" is just another word for a complete and utter inability to delegate your troops or trust them to carry out your vision. Or, as the self-anointed Trust Ambassador, Robert Whipple said, it "implies a lack of trust… The manager is not confident the employee can or will do a job correctly, so the employee is besieged with 'helpful' instructions from the manager on exactly how to perform tasks."
So what do you do? Intuit Small Business Blog has a post on this very topic, plus more on how to identify the telltale micromanaging behaviors.
So here's how you can stop, according to Intuit:
- Ask why. If you’re micromanaging, there’s probably an underlying reason. Do you question your employees’ ability to get the job done, or are you just more comfortable when you’re in control? Once you pinpoint the “why,” you can determine the next step.
- Re-examine your staff. Before you assume you have a management problem, consider whether your employees are up to the tasks. If not, retrain or replace them.
- Learn to delegate. Although it’s probably true that no one can handle the job like you can, you should ask yourself whether it has to be done your way. If not, take a step back and realize that your employees’ ideas can be just as good as your own.
For more, I'd suggest reading Whipple's blog post, and his blog in general.
David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.