In the first article on micromanagement, I discussed the definition of micromanagement and the possible consequences(read here). In today's second part, I would like to take a closer look at the signs of a micromanager to make it easier for you to identify them as such. In the last part, I will then show you how you can prevent the problem of micromanagement from becoming irrelevant in your company.

If, after reading the last blog article, you have realised that you are dealing with potential micromanagers, I hope that you have taken the time to conduct (ex) employee appraisals. You can compare the resulting protocols with the following list of behaviours to determine exactly whether you are dealing with a micromanager and if so, what characterises them.

Signs of a micromanager

1. micromanagers avoid delegation

Micromanagers believe that nobody can do a job nearly as good as they can. It is therefore not surprising that they tend to avoid delegating tasks, which doesn't help anyone. However, it is better for everyone if you delegate tasks to those who have the skills to produce the desired results.

2. micromanagers go into too much detail about employees' work

Being constantly scrutinised is really stressful for employees and leaves feelings of stress, frustration and fear of making mistakes. It should also be noted that it is anything but effective.

3. micromanagers often ask for updates and status reports.

Updates and reports on a weekly basis are now standard and should no longer surprise any employee. However, if updates are asked for on a daily basis, you can be sure that the manager is micromanaging. The consequence is that employees will focus on detailed reports instead of their work.

4. micromanagers want to be in CC in every email

"And don't forget to include me in CC!" Does this sentence sound familiar to you and do you hear it all too often? In this case, too, micromanagement is clearly evident. The managers in question are worried that there is too little communication or that important things are being discussed behind their backs.

5. micromanagers are constantly complaining and are never satisfied

Micromanagers often tend to criticise a lot and are not satisfied with the results of their employees. However, if you only look for mistakes, this is all you will find: Mistakes. These managers are under the misconception that they are spreading perfectionism. In reality, however, a decline in employee motivation is clearly the more likely consequence.

6. micromanagers leave no room for creativity and prevent independent decisions

Because micromanagers have fundamental trust issues with their employees, they basically dictate almost everything when it comes to completing tasks. This is counterproductive for employees, especially in creative professions that rely on people working independently. You should always bear in mind that employees were hired on the basis of their qualifications and/or experience to complete certain tasks. Not allowing them to do this is absolutely pointless and damaging to the business.

A fitting quote from Steve Jobs (presumably in later years, when he was no longer too addicted to micromanagement): "There's no point in hiring smart people and telling them what to do; we hire smart people to tell us what to do".

Now that you have analysed the conversations, you may have noticed that a manager (including yourself) is showing major signs of being a micromanager. You can find out how to take action in the last part of our article.

Transform micromanagers into modern leaders

Helping a micromanager to transform into a modern manager requires a sure instinct. It is therefore advisable to seek a direct conversation in order to sensitise the manager to their behaviour. It is important to convey an understanding of the situation in order to facilitate a willingness to change. There are often deep fears behind micromanagement that need to be addressed carefully.

Together you can then work out a plan on how the healthy transformation to modern leadership can succeed. It is best to arrange an appointment after 3 - 4 weeks to discuss the status of the transformation. Unfortunately, bad habits have the disadvantage that they are often difficult to get rid of. It may therefore take two to three meetings before the transformation is successfully completed.

Google can be a possible role model for this.

According to the company, the following list summarises the most important qualities, characteristics and tasks of a modern leader and can also be a good template for your company. for your company:

  • they act as a coach and support their team as a sparring partner and advisor
  • they empower their team to achieve the tasks themselves and do not set small milestones
  • they create an inclusive team environment that prioritises success and well-being
  • They promote productivity and remain results-orientated
  • they are a good communicator, listen and share all information
  • they promote career development and discuss performance; in doing so, they encourage their employees - with sincere and specific praise, but also through critical feedback
  • they have a clear vision and a clear strategy for their team
  • they acquire important technical skills to advise their team. Because good leaders understand the tasks of their employees, including their day-to-day tasks and challenges
  • they work together effectively. Bad managers see their team as a silo, working against or even sabotaging other teams within the same organisation
  • they make decisions! After learning the facts and considering the thoughts and perspectives of their teams, they move things forward.


Micromanagement is a widespread problem that can cause enormous damage to organisations and contribute to a toxic corporate climate. In these two articles I have given you a brief overview, including ways to recognise micromanagers and how to tackle the problem.

If, after reading this article, you have realised that micromanagement is a widespread issue in your company, be brave and tackle it. It will be worth your while.

Created by Simon Müller am 14.10.2021 um 15:00 Uhr