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4 ways to tell if you micromanage

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Micromanaging employees lowers their morale and productivity, while also eating up too much of your precious time. It is a habit you need to break. But how do you know if you are a micromanager? If you regularly say the following, you’re likely one.

1. “I can do it quicker myself.” Yeah, it might be quicker the first time, but if you don’t delegate tasks to someone else, you will need to continue doing them. Training staff to take on assignments frees your time, and makes them more knowledgeable and capable.

2. “Do it this way.” If employees achieve the same results, they don’t need to follow your process. Give them the freedom to meet expectations the best way they see fit, as long as they are being ethical and thorough.

3. “Run it past me first.” If you demand approval on every decision or piece of work, you add another unnecessary level of administration. That slows things down, and eventually you may cause your team to miss a deadline. Train your employees well, and you won’t need to sign off on everything.

4. “Just checking in.” That seemingly innocent phrase can lead employees to believe that you don’t trust them. If you have hired good employees, established goals and expectations, and provided everything they need to do the job, you don’t need to “just check in.” Check in only if employees have given you a reason to.

— Adapted from “5 Ways to Tell if You’re a Micromanager,” Gwen Moran, Fast Company, www.fastcompany.com.

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