Discover Benelux | Business | Column
Benelux Business BUSINESS COLUMN | BUSINESS PROFILES | BUSINESS CALENDAR
How not to be micro-managed TEXT & PHOTO: STEVE FLINDERS
Being micro-managed is so demoralising. You are constantly pestered, and you feel you are being treated as less than an adult. These thoughts were prompted by my asking one of my sons, a young London professional, what I should write about this month. “Do micro-management,” he answered without hesitation. “Loads of my friends complain about being micro-managed.” Soon after that, I was asked about training a management group. During the exploratory meeting (in the absence of the CEO), I asked about their major challenge: “Micro-management,” was the reply. My reflex both times was to think of situational leadership. This great model shows how managers and teams benefit from the leader handling different individuals and tasks differently, sometimes telling, sometimes selling, sometimes participating, sometimes delegating. The manager uses a quadrant to classify people according to their varying levels of competence, and willingness and/or confidence: some need loads of support, some hardly any. 56 | Issue 51 | March 2018
Managers also need to understand the distinction between delegation and empowerment. When you delegate, you give someone a task to perform but retain the responsibility for it being carried out. When you empower someone, you give them the task and the responsibility. Knowing when to do which is a skill all managers should cultivate.
questions weekly: 1. What do you think I am doing right? 2. What do you think I am doing wrong? 3. What do you want me to do more of? Once you have started this process, keep up the pressure. Good luck to the micro-managed. If this does not work, let me know and I will think again.
Ideas are all well and good, but how does one get them across to one’s painin-the-bum boss? After all, this kind of manager tends not to be too open about recommendations to change their management style. Try some team solidarity. Your colleagues will feel the same as you. Together you need to tell Mr or Ms Micro-Manager how you feel about their style; and to do this, you need to create a situation where it can happen. HR might or might not provide a facilitator although that is what they are there for. If not, do it yourselves. Get an item on the agenda of the next team meeting. Tell the manager how you collectively feel. Give feedback (the objective of feedback is to improve performance) on their management style. Propose that they ask you these three management
Steve Flinders is a freelance trainer, writer and coach, based in Malta, who helps people develop their communication and leadership skills for working internationally: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.