How to control away your authority

Micromanaging

You know what’s funny?

Micromanagers.

I mean, they aren’t funny “ha-ha” but they’re funny like “all I can do is shake my head and laugh.” Don’t get me wrong, some industries need micromanagers, and some workers thrive under micromanagement.  I’m not one of them, and the hilarity of seeing how micromanagement can backfire on people is probably just a sign of my warped sense of humor.

Have you ever worked for a micromanager? Can you think back to all of the work-arounds you created so you could actually get your job done because your boss was so controlling and detail oriented that she didn’t realize she was impeding your progress? Come to think of it…maybe my real issue isn’t even with micromanagement so much as it is with control freaks.

Control freaks can also be a good thing in the right setting. But I have ADD and having to spend so much time and attention placating one person can be exhausting. And frankly, I want to get my job done quickly, efficiently, and with quality results so I can move onto the next task. So if I can’t have the tools I need to do that, I will go find them.

It’s in the budget to afford company laptops, but I can’t have a one, so I can’t get work done at home on the weekends to be caught up for Monday? That’s ok, I have a home computer. I may not have the antivirus you require, but it will let me spend a few extra hours on my Saturday prepping for the meeting on Monday.

I’m asked do some graphical work, but without the help of photoshop? Great, no problem. Free software is available all over the internet (pixlr.com, I love you). Hopefully I’ll choose a reputable one (pixlr, I still love you!).

See, this is the thing about being controlling: I have a job to get done. I have requirements that have been given to me.  Rather than making a judgment about how well you like me as a person, it might behoove you to listen to what it is that I’m asking for…perhaps work with me to ensure that I have the tools I need to achieve my goals. I’m not asking for a company to spend money on me unnecessarily (and we probably all know someone who just wants more software to feel important, while they don’t really do much), but I am asking for a concerted effort to help me out.

I’m not in management, but I know budgets are tight. I know security is always a concern, and I certainly don’t want to create more problems or work for anyone else. But to micromanage me, and attempt to control me beyond reasonable expectations may backfire.

Do I sound like an insolent, pain-in-the-butt employee? Probably.  Am I? I certainly don’t think so. And I do my best not to be.

My point here is this: employees want to do their jobs. I’d even say a high majority of employees want to do their jobs well. They don’t just want a paycheck and a raise (although those things certainly don’t hurt), they want the satisfaction that comes from a job well done. Get in their way, and people will come up with work-arounds. It’s human nature to find the path of least resistance.  Work with your employees, not against them. Understand their issues and concerns, and help them access tools to do the best job they can.

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