Micro-management? What a turn off


I’m about to work with a fast expanding third sector organisation where one or two managers are a little too keen to micro-manage their reports. The Chief Exec has identified it’s going on and is keen to help his people find alternatives so that everyone can flourish and grow.

I can absolutely see why. Micro-managing is seriously bad for your health.

It steals time when line managers could be being more strategic, and creates a whole other set of things to sweat about, outside their actual job responsibilities.

At the same time, micro-managing disempowers the person being line-managed, sometimes to the point of paralysis. They can’t make decisions, they’re not able to learn from their mistakes and they rapidly lose confidence. It’s said that people leave managers, not jobs. And they certainly leave micro-managers.

the micro-manager at workHow to spot if you’re a micro-manager.

Do you ask for endless updates from the person you manage?

Are you overseeing every tiny detail?

Do you not trust your report to get things right?

Are you forever correcting minor points?

Do you spend a lot of time re-doing their work?


If you answered, yes to any of these questions, you may well be.

Attention to detail, thoroughness and diligence are all important qualities but they need to be kept in check when it comes to managing others.

So, here’s three tips for how to stop micro-managing and start facilitating your team members to learn and develop for themselves.

1. Start from the position that you want people to succeed, not expect them to fail.

2. Anticipate mistakes – this is when their learning happens.

3. Learn to delegate properly.


Katie Duckworth helps third sector organisations support their managers to bring out the very best in their teams. If you’d like to talk to me about how I can support your managers, including through my new Manage like a leader e-course, give me a call on 0208 772 7808 or contact me here for a no-obligation chat.





, , ,