Intentional Leaders Podcast with Cyndi Wentland

Who me?! A micromanager? No way.

April 26, 2022 Episode 67
Intentional Leaders Podcast with Cyndi Wentland
Who me?! A micromanager? No way.
Show Notes

LinkedIn reported that 79% of employees have been micromanaged at least once in their career. Micromanaging is controlling every part, however small, of (an enterprise or activity).

It typically indicates lack of trust, freedom—the opposite of empowerment. It is a double whammy in being a demotivator and also “threat” to our need for autonomy.  And results in:

  • anxiety & stress
  • lack of learning/development
  • poor role model = control as a management style
  • miss out on becoming a good problem solver
  • decreases performance and productivity
  • disengagement

7 kinds of micromanagement (by John Spacey):

  1. Supervision: your goals and results
  2. Working style: my way is the best way
  3. Internal control: operating procedures, strict beyond the quality aspect—won’t explore the reasoning, the why, the purpose or the value
  4. Job depth: authority and freedom as a valued contributor
  5. Defense of status quo: we’ve always done it that way; closed mindedness; lack of flexibility; negatively reinforces creativity, innovation
  6. Perfectionism: is a lie; unattainable for us as leaders and for our teams. are you holding out for perfection? asking others to be perfect?
  7. Criticism: focus on what you need to improve, finding the flaws first, noticing them first 

 How to talk about it?  #1 is to be assertive and use assertive language. Have a conversation about your feelings, needs and wants--also discovering their needs (and fears).


·      Goals/results:  I’ve noticed that you set a date for a project deadline, and then follow up regularly with me, checking in on the status. Help me understand what you need or what I could be providing to you to reassure you I’m on track.

·       Style: I would like to have more autonomy in my role. How can we achieve that?

·       Job depth: It’s important to me to continue to grow and contribute more in my role. How can you help me to develop in my current role, and set me up for future roles?

·       Controls/Status quo:  I recognize the importance of clear processes and procedures; I also want to share my thoughts or ideas about improvements and innovation. How can I best bring up these ideas I have and share them with you?

The challenge is,  to flourish we need trust, freedom, growth. If you are in the situation and have tried to facilitate change with professionalism, respect and grace—it may be time to escalate the situation, or it may be time for a job change. 

And, if you see yourself in some way in this podcast episode, take this awareness seriously. Ask for help (mentor, coach, boss) in learning new approaches to exploring the beliefs that are creating these patterns, and actively shifting these behaviors. After all, do you really want to be the person that employees identify in a class that micromanaged them?

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