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Could you be a micromanager?

If you want something done right, you should do it yourself. But as the boss, if you find yourself involved in every mundane chore in the office you may have devolved into the micromanager.

If you want something done right, you should do it yourself. But as the boss, if you find yourself involved in every mundane chore in the office — teaching the accountants how to format a spreadsheet, reminding the cleaning staff how to knot a trash bag — you may have devolved into the micromanager.

Few workplace tyrants exact a more devastating toll on their company’s morale.

And the worse part, career counselors say, is that your typical nitpicker-in-chief thinks he’s being a “mentor.”

“One of the consequences of micromanaging is people feel they’re being controlled,” New York-based executive guide Barbara Frankel says. “They start not being engaged in their jobs. They feel their ideas and knowledge have been dismissed.”

Communication coach Donna Flagg has a stronger way of putting that: “People hate you,” she says. “You’re that boss that makes people say, ‘I can’t stand my job.’ What you’re saying is, ‘I can’t trust you to do anything right.’”

The cause may be “boss paranoia” — that dread that you’re no longer in the loop. To combat this, “set up more regular communication,” Frankel advises.

Scheduled progress reports can also help alleviate that fear. “Be very clear in your expectations,” she adds. “Communicate the priorities and the timeline for each project.”

 
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