Micromanagement vs. Empowerment: A Leader's Role in People Management

One of the greatest misunderstandings in leadership and coaching is the term micromanaging. Most leaders never want to be thought of as a micromanager. In fact, it could be considered an insult or weakness of any manager.

When micromanaging is used as a coaching or leadership style, it will most likely deliver bad results, stifle creativity, limit employees’ self-worth, and limit productivity. On the other hand, when a coach or leader must deal with a bad performer, it is imperative to help the employee either become a better performer or help them find a job that is a better fit. Leaders should strive to be coaches who, when necessary, use micromanaging activities to improve specific areas, but use coaching skills when getting the team ready to win. 

Micromanagement is essentially watching, or making employees feel that their every move is being watched. Excessive attention to detail, planning tasks to minutiae, and obsessively tracking the time employees spend at their desks, on their breaks, etc. are some of the more extreme activities associated with micromanagement. While this may seem to some like the work managers should be doing, these behaviors are, in fact, detrimental and take managers’ focus away from the bigger picture.

Micromanagement has been proven to be a stressful management style that achieves results only in the short …

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