When you think of someone who is a bad manager, you will likely find that a few specific words and phrases come to mind to describe that stereotypical individual. One of the most common of these is “micromanager.”
What is a micromanager?
This is someone who feels the need to take control over every last aspect of a job, and who will often attempt to grapple that control from their workers.
They might do this with the best of intentions. Probably, it is the manager who will be in trouble if the team is not meeting targets. Therefore, it makes sense that they should take control. At the same time, they might be trying to help their staff and their team by giving them lots of detailed instructions.
But the end result is a frustrated and stifled team, along with sub-par final products.
Let’s use web design as an example. If you are a micromanager who has tasked a member of your team with creating a website, then you might be tempted to provide lots of steps and details. You might tell them the size that the logo needs to be, the color, and the position. You might show them multiple examples of what the site should look like, and you might make strict rulings about the tools used to build it. Perhaps you tell them that they should use a certain font, and maybe you send the work back multiple times for corrections and for changes.
This is micromanagement.
But it’s also a big waste of time – all the time you spend going back and forth with your work is time wasted that could have been spent simply developing a better website.
It also wastes the talent of one of your skilled workers. You likely hired this person because they were good at web design – so why wrestle control from them?
From their perspective, this is highly frustrating. Chances are that you – not being a web designer – are providing them with a spec that they know will result in a sub-par end product. But what is more, is that it removes all their creative freedom and expression.
Creating a great website is creative work that someone should enjoy and should feel proud of. But if all they did was to follow an exact brief to the letter – with zero room for improvisation – then they won’t have any of that feeling at all.