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You don't want to be a nit-picky boss, do you?

If you want something done right, you should do it yourself.

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 become the micromanager.


Few workplace tyrants exact a more devastating toll on their company’s morale. And the worse part, career counsellors say, is that your typical nit-picker-in-chief thinks they’re being a mentor – when they’re truly being a tormentor.


“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.’ When underlying everything you do what you’re saying is, ‘I cant trust you to do anything right.’”


The symptoms of a workforce taxed by meddlesome management are easy to spot, she says. Do your underlings avoid your eye contact? Or you? If so, consider that seething resentment “a red flag and an opportunity to see what’s going wrong,” she offers.


“You need to find out, is it you, and you’re a control freak, and this person would do just find if you left them alone, or do you have a problem employee who really can’t get out of bed in the morning,” she explains. “Pull back and see what happens.”


Meanwhile, “set up more regular communication,” Frankel advises.


Boss’s paranoia -- that dread that you’re no longer in the loop – drives many a manager to dominate their workers.


Scheduled progress reports can alleviate that fear.


“Be very clear in your expectations,” she adds. “Communicate the priorities and the timeline for each project.”