Micromanagement: What are the characteristics of a micro-manager?

It seems like there is a fine line between micro-management and having a boss know what you are doing. What are examples of micro-management?


Timothy Gay
The assumption I am making is that your employer hired you to do a certain type of job using a skill set you have demonstrated in your history. A Manager will assign a task to you based upon these factors. She should check with you once in a while to do certain things such as be sure you are remembering the due date, asking what progress is like thus far, have you any observations about the data or results you are beginning to see? A Micro-Manager will take an employee who is present because they are SUPPOSED to be capable of the work assigned and regularly review every decision you have made and question why you did something in a anxiety producing manner. Often, micro-Managers will 'red-line' your work multiple times. So much so that they often change their own changes. The effect of such management is at a minimum annoyance and can result in a loss of morale and/or confidence until the employee gets frustrated to the point of wanting to say 'Look, why don't you just do it? You don't trust my work.' Micro-management is like having a closed circuit camara on you all day and generally is tolerated only when there are few jobs to transfer or leave for.
2 Additional Answers
Jim Morgan
Since I turn work groups into empowered teams, I get similar questions often. A simple answer is that a team 'leader' tells the team what needs to be done, then asks the team what it needs and helps get those resources. A 'manager' also tells the team how to do the work. A micromanager also tells the team what it needs!
Debbie Sturgil
What is a professional way of discussing your frustration with the micro or say nothing?
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27 January 2006 (USA) See more »
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