The term “micromanagement” has such a poor connotation these days that it’s almost like a bad word. But we’re such poor judges of our own performance that we can’t tell whether we’re micromanaging unless someone tells us. Except, that is, if we can spot the signs. Signs like:

Nobody Can Do Their Job Right

Are you so frustrated with your team’s performance and work habits that you have to constantly correct them? Does it sometimes seem like you’re the only one on the project who knows what he’s doing?

Heads up, friend. You might be the problem. Micromanagers always find something wrong, whether it’s in a deliverable or in how it’s done. Nothing pleases you, and as a result people stop trying.

You’re Always Asking for Reports

Project managers need to stay informed, but micromanagers take it to a whole different level. If you have your team submitting daily reports (or even hourly), you might want to reassess their value. Your team is probably spending more time crafting reports than doing actual work. During a project crisis, this can actually make things worse.

Everything Has to Go Through You—Except Blame

Does your team need your input on every little thing that they do? Do you have trouble trusting your team leaders to make their own decisions?

Micromanagers have this problem in spades, and it’s not just because they’re scared of losing control. A lot of micromanagers are also narcissistic, and will often use the team as scapegoats in case things go wrong.

You Don’t Let Go After Delegating

“Delegating” means having another person do a task on your behalf. But for delegating to be effective, you have to be willing to let go of the task and trust your subordinate to do it right. Otherwise, you may as well just handle it yourself in the first place.

Most micromanagers do delegate, but then constantly nag whoever got the assignment. You might be “trying to help”, but you’re actually showing your employee that you don’t trust them—and that can wreak havoc with team morale.

If you’re guilty of any of these signs, don’t panic! You can always correct your behavior, It won’t be overnight, though. And you’ll have to get someone you trust to watch out for any negative actions on your part.

Image credit, Flickr, andercismo