For Managers Only – Are You A Micro-manager?

For Managers Only – Are You A Micro-manager?
30 Oct

The first time I ever dealt with a true micro-manager was when I was interviewing for a job at a very large, well known company. I won’t share the name. The interview was an all day affair that began at 8:00 am, included a lunch interview, and didn’t end until 5:00 in the evening.

My 8:00 am interview was with the hiring manager. My potential boss. He interviewed me and did as most managers do, asked if I had any questions. Of course I had questions, I am the interview guru. I better have questions.

I asked him about his management style. “What is your management style?” He proudly announced he was a micro-manager. It was over for me at that moment. I remained in the process, and interviewed at all the right times with all the right people, but as far as I was concerned they could fly me back home.

I was done when this director proudly declared his ability to micromanage.

Jokes on You

For Managers Only – The punch line for Monty Python’s video clip is that the vacancies were filled weeks ago. After “deliberately humiliating” the candidate the hiring manager announces that the job is no longer available.

So why did he bother interviewing the candidate? First for clarification, I understand this is a spoof on the interview, but I see nuggets of learning for managers and candidates.

Managers who interview for sport should not be interviewing. Gimmicks are inappropriate, period. Scaring candidates, asking questions with “code” is inappropriate. Most managers are too busy to interview people for sport, but I know there are some out there who enjoy putting people in “the press” to see how they will respond under pressure.

I am a tough interviewer. But there is a method to my madness. When I ask questions, I am listening for specific information. I am listening to what I call “out of alignment experiences.” I am looking for depth in the answers. Being tough is fine, appropriate pressure is fine, but gimmicks and inappropriate antics is not.

For Job Seekers – You may walk into an interview with an unsavory interviewer. The person or people may be playing games and creating an environment that is difficult for you. The first thing I want to say to you is – you must maintain yourself in the face of any given situation. Check your resume on online essay checker to avoid grammar mistakes. Some people will be testing your mettle. It may feel unfair and it maybe unfair, but you are not in control of the environment. You are responsible for how you respond in the situation you find yourself.

Second, remember that just like you are being assessed to determine your skills and abilities and to determine whether you will be a fit in their organization. You are EQUALLY responsible for determining whether the organization is the right organization for you. If the person or people involved in the hiring process are people you don’t want to work for. It is ok to walk away from the experience and cross them off your list. Don’t say “yes” just because you got an offer. If you were uncomfortable in the interview, walk away and keep looking until you find the right place.

Here is my two cents on micro-managers:

Micro-managers have a difficult time trusting their employees.

Micro-managers have a difficult time not being in control

Micro-managers create an environment where their employees are fearful

Micro-managers want you to know they are the boss

Micro-managers dictate how the work must get done

Micro-managers tell you what to do rather than trusting you will make good decisions

Micromanagers hurt morale and productivity in organizations. Here are some things you can do to help you work with a micromanager:

  1. Be very clear about the expectations of your micro-manager
  2. Negotiate priorities so that you are not overwhelmed with work overload
  3. Play within established boundaries given
  4. Gain the trust of your manager

You are not a victim, even when you work with difficult managers. Take ownership of what is going on around you. The only person you can control is you. Do your job, understand the expectations, communicate and build trust. These things will help micro-managers trust that you can do your job and that they have nothing to worry about when it comes to you meeting goals and expectations.


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