Do you cause congestion in the workplace? Are you a bottleneck?

Does not having control over every little thing that your staff works on make your skin crawl?

Is the only way for things to get done correctly to do them yourself?

Do you need to approve everything before it can be finalized?

Does this ring a bell of self-recognition?

Then maybe — actually, it’s likely — you’re a micromanager.

Micromanagers are the bane of employees in every industry, but they are not a lost cause. The first step is to identify if you are a micromanager. There are plenty of resources online to help, mostly in the form of quizzes, and they are a first good step.

(There are many online articles about how to cope with a micromanaging boss, but that’s not our focus here.)

A few common traits micromanagers have are the need to control everything, an inability to delegate, re-doing the work of others, and bottlenecking work by requiring a final say over everything. Does this sound like you?

There are several drawbacks to being a micromanager. Employees become demoralized and frustrated because they feel like they are not trusted. Production slows to a crawl because of the micromanager’s need to approve every item. It is stressful to be a micromanager because of that need to ‘do it all myself.’

Velsoft’s course — Delegation: The Art of Delegating Effectively — notes that to be effective at delegating you need these characteristics:

  • Receptiveness
  • Willingness to let go
  • Willingness to let others make mistakes
  • Willingness to trust team members
  • Excellent communication techniques

Learn to trust your staff. If you are the one who hired them, it must have been for a reason, you must have believed they are up to the task. If they’re not, either train them or replace them, but micromanaging only leads to employees who are resentful and unhappy.

Take a look at yourself and why you have this need to micromanage. This may help you realize that you actually can let your workers do what they are supposed to do.

I saw an interview with Sir Richard Branson once, and he said that part of the key to success was to hire good people, tell them what to do and then let them do it.

I’m apt to agree with the founder of Virgin Group on this, especially in light of the fact that at the time he was speaking from his private Caribbean island. That tells me that he must know a thing or two about successfully managing people.

Work on overcoming your bottleneck tendencies and practice delegating, and having your own private island may not be far behind.