Micromanagement: Management and Leadership Style

Then conclude that to negate the micromanagement style of leadership, proper planning, realistic strategies and applying appropriate control techniques are critical to secure a successful relationship with your subordinates which leads to a better overall working environment, and furthermore organizational success. Introduction transactional. A comparison of management techniques is necessary in order to establish a base of knowledge about all five with the end state of finding a definitive solution to when each management technique is appropriate.

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The focus of the paper is to link micromanagement to the directing leadership style. Then conclude that to negate the micromanagement style of leadership, proper planning, realistic strategies and applying appropriate control techniques are radical to secure a successful relationship with your subordinates which leads to a better overall working environment, and furthermore organizational success. The Directing Leadership Style The directing leadership style is an authoritarian or autocratic method of leadership.

An example of this is managers whom undertake a task and refuse to ask their subordinates for opinions, expertise or professional input and instead give detailed instructions to their subordinates on how to accomplish the task and then supervise the subordinates in an extreme manner, directing every aspect of the task in excruciating detail. The problem with the directing leadership style is when the manager refuses to lead his personnel in any other way and adopts the style as his or her only form of leadership.

Many problems plague the directing manager. Autocratic managers have a tendency to stifle the initiative of their subordinates. Furthermore, they hinder independence in the workplace and work against the cultivation of employees who are capable of making sound decisions. This can result in a feeling of resentment towards management and slows the pace of work because employees must wait for the scaremonger to make decisions for them. Furthermore, micromanages do not instill leadership qualities in their subordinates.

This could result in the creation of a hostile work environment between subordinates and leaders because employees do not have the appropriate space to learn and grow. A more dangerous aspect of micromanagement is being abusive towards employees. Autocratic managers should be cautious not to issue threats, yell or use abusive language towards their employees. This kind of behavior is unprofessional and could reflect badly on the reputation of the manager and lead to disruptions in he office place, and worse, a hostile working environment.

Although considered the least desirable by most subordinates and managers alike, there is a time and a place for the directing style. For instance; if a manager is given a task in which there is not enough time to explain all of the details or if a manager has a new team or a team of inexperienced subordinates who do not have the training to accomplish goals unsupervised (FM 22-100). Directing employees does allow for maximum control by allowing managers to, “Constantly correct, guide, advise, counsel and mentor (Raw, 2008)” employees.

However, the skilled anger should know when to use this type of leadership and when to fall back to a less domineering style. Micromanagement and the Directing Leadership Style The Incarnate English dictionary defines micromanagement as the ability, “To control a person or a situation by paying extreme attention to small details (Incarnate, 2010). ” The Harvard Business Review goes further to define micromanagement in the business sense as, “Close, detailed, and often De- motivating scrutiny of employees’ work on a continuing basis (Harvard Business Review, 2010). It is therefore prudent to apply the cognitive definition of circumnavigate to that of the directing leadership style. Though there are merits to an autocratic style of leadership, it is usually more frowned-upon than admired. That being said the linking of the two definitions makes it advantageous to identify the traits and behaviors of the micromanage and determine the pitfalls of such a leadership style. Reasons for Micromanagement In order to negate redundancy, with micromanagement and the directing style of leadership defined, it is prudent to explore the specific reasons for micromanagement.

Reasons for micromanagement include managers who find homeless in a situation where they do not fully trust their employees, for example: working with a new employee or an employee that does not possess a certain amount of expertise or experience. Other reasons include manager’s who had used an alternative leadership style in the past and was let down by employees who failed to deliver or managers who have a learned trait of extreme control by former managers and have become insecure, either by nature or by the learned behavior.

In addition to learned behaviors, some autocratic managers have A-type personalities, which fosters the behavioral traits of a control freak. ” In this case, the directing manager cannot help but use autocratic control measures and will demonstrate the autocratic approach to his or her subordinates almost subconsciously. In general, people do not like to be micromanaged. A survey presented to thirty people asked specific questions about micromanagement. One question asked, “Have you ever worked for someone who you considered a micromanage? An overwhelming ninety percent of the people polled responded in the affirmative. A follow on question asked, “How did you feel about being micromanaged? ” Of the ninety percent that aid they have been micromanaged, most gave a similar answer in that they either; resented the treatment, felt resentment towards the micromanage or felt the treatment they received made them feel incompetent and that the manager felt they did not know their job. Feelings of this kind have the potential to be destructive for both the manager and the organization as a whole.

It fosters an environment of resentment and can lead to a high attrition rate of employees. The constant turnover of experienced employees, and the subsequent replacement of less than experienced employees, continues the vicious cycle. Alternative Leadership Styles Other less abrasive leadership styles exist that managerial professionals may utilize in order to foster a better working environment. Managers who find themselves stuck in an autocratic style of leadership only need to understand the different techniques of leadership and adopt an alternative style to mitigate becoming or remaining a micromanage.

This may take an act of courage by the autocratic leader, however with the right attitude and understanding micromanages can adopt a better leadership approach that fosters professional growth and harmony, not only in his or her self, but in subordinates as well. The Participative Leadership Style The participative leadership style is one that recognizes both the manager and the team as a collective whole. Managers who use this management style often have ample amount of time to plan and accomplish a task or is working with experienced subordinates.

Participative managers request input from their subordinates to include information about the task, recommendations on specific details about a task and professional expertise from seasoned subordinates. Once the details of the task are compiled and analyzed, the manager will then make the final decision on how to accomplish the task. Although the manager allows for input from subordinates, he or she still maintains a degree of control by making the final decisions about the task and controlling the mechanics on task accomplishment (FM 22-100).

The participative style of management has many benefits. Participative means that the team is part of the planning process; brainstorming and inputting information, ideas and intelligence to come up with the overall plan. This lends a sense of ownership to subordinates because they feel the plan is theirs in part thus instilling the desire to see the plan work. This is extremely powerful cause subordinates will see a manager who values his or her subordinates. For the manager, this reflects credibility, strength and self-confidence (FM 22-100).

Things the manager of the participative style of management should remember are that he or she is ultimately responsible for success or failure of the plan and it is a slippery slope to micromanagement if the manager looms over his or her subordinates after the plan is in motion. Managers should be cautious when supervising experienced subordinates. They should monitor their progress and make adjustments where necessary, but should never slip into the mode of a scaremonger, unless they see things going awry with the plan (FM 22-100).

The Delegating Leadership Style When a manager employs a delegating leadership style, the manager completely trusts the subordinates of the team and allows them to make decisions on their own about certain tasks, inputting their expertise and creating a plan or accomplishing tasks unhindered. In this case, it is usually because subordinates and managers have worked together on tasks in the past and have built a bond of trust between each other.

Subordinates who are delegated responsibilities rarely need to clear decisions through the manager because the anger trusts their ability in making sound decisions. The manager who delegates authority creates an environment for the subordinate to learn and grow and gives the subordinate the tools to one day become an effective manager. Although the delegating manager relinquishes a measurable amount of trust in the subordinate, the manager is still responsible for success or failure and must hold their subordinates accountable for either (FM 22-100).

The Transformational Leadership Style The transformational leadership style is one that managers may use to change the fundamental qualities of their subordinates by challenging them to ransom their work habits by putting their responsibilities of work above their own immediate needs and self-interests. This leadership style has the ability to transform the individual as well as the organization as a whole by developing the individual/team on both a personal and professional level.

The key to this leadership style is to motivate subordinates by empowering the individual or team by communicating intentions to the individual/team, and allowing them freedom to develop their own plan of action to accomplish directed tasks. This provides stimulation for the subordinate and a felling of cohesiveness and wineries of the task for the team. Sometimes subordinates have special skills or ideas on how to accomplish a task or problem solving skills that are superior to the managers.

The transformational leadership style gives the manager a tool to exploit the skills and experience of their subordinates all the while building on their subordinates understanding and abilities. Furthermore, it enhances initiative in subordinates and helps the manager to operate his unit in an effective, more efficient manner (FM 22-100). The transformational leadership style is less effective when subordinates are ewe, inexperienced or unmotivated. In this case, a leadership style such as the directing leadership style is appropriate.

Transformational leadership is best when the organization finds itself in a situation of change or a new opportunity arises. It also works well in crises situations where the “two heads are better than one” mentality aids the manager in exploring several ideas and approaches to problem solving (FM 22-100). The Transactional Leadership Style The transactional leadership style is one that can be deemed the “carrot and the stick” approach. Its fundamental premise being to motivate subordinates by sing rewards for success and punishment for failure.

Managers who adopt this technique usually put in writing all of the conditions of the task that is to be completed and the rules governing its execution. This is effective because a manager who puts his or her intentions in writing solidifies a sense of professionalism to subordinates. This includes consequences for success or failure. In essence, the manager spells out certain expectations on how a certain task is to be completed and what the consequences are for success and failure and then leaves the subordinate with creative control to accomplish the task.

Caution should be taken using this approach because subordinates may fear taking a risk or making a mistake due to punishment standards. Both reward and punishment should be proportionate to the success or failure and leeway given when honest mistakes occur. Furthermore, managers should make a conscious effort to check-up on subordinates periodically, and not show up only when it is necessary to invoke the stick. This has a tendency to reflect a lopsided approach that reflects a self-serving manager who only cares when the individual or the team fails.

This has a tendency to stifle initiative and discourages risk aging. The clever manager needs to balance the carrot with the stick in order to achieve success in this managerial leadership style (FM 22-100). Mitigating Mitigating micromanagement can be challenging for managers, how then does the autocratic manager change to a less abrasive leadership style? When a manager is stuck in a directing leadership style, it is prudent for that manager whom desires change to initiate a plan of action that will accommodate change.

Autocratic managers must understand that a less abrasive leadership style will accommodate a more functional team environment and foster growth and debility within the organization. This can be accomplished by using the six- step decision making process which includes identifying and diagnosing the problem, generating alternative solutions, evaluating alternatives, making a choice, implementing the choice, and monitor/control the situation (Bateman- Snell, p. 129). Identify and diagnose the problem: The first step the manager must take is to realize that change is necessary in his or her leadership style.

Problem indicators include excessive complaining, resentment, low morale and tension in the office. These telltale signs are a good indicator that something s wrong and a change may be necessary in the manager’s leadership style. Generate alternative solutions: Discuss the problem with subordinates and get their input on their perception of the situation. Be prepared for candid criticism from subordinates and understand that their criticism is for the better good of the team and organization as a whole.

It will be necessary to establish a feeling of trust between subordinates by reassuring them that a desire for change exists and the intentions to change are real. Discuss the alternative leadership styles by going over each one and defining the characteristics of each. Evaluate alternatives: Consider the information gathered from the meeting and evaluate each alternative leadership style. This will aid the manager in making a decision about which one will better benefit the organization. Make a choice: Decide whether to stay on course with a directing leadership style or choose an alternative leadership style.

If a new leadership style is necessary, go forward with a plan to implement the new leadership style. The strategy of the plan should be realistic, focusing on “judgment, intelligence, cultural awareness, and self-control (FM 22-100). ” Implement the plan: Once the plan s developed, disseminate it to every employee in a comprehensive manner, either verbally or better, in writing. This will help the subordinates understand the expectations from management and vice-versa. One can accomplish this through individual as well team counseling and should include the consequences for both success and failure.

Counseling sessions should be, “Focused on the subordinate, outlining actions that subordinates must take to achieve individual and organizational goals (FM 22-100). ” Evaluate the plan / monitor and control: Now the manager is well on the way to positive change, however, t will be necessary to evaluate the plan continually. It is necessary to monitor the plan and apply appropriate control measures to ensure the new leadership style succeeds. Therefore, it is necessary to formulate a plan to monitor and control subordinates.

Control/monitoring measures must ensure that the newly adopted leadership style is effective and may include establishing deadlines, receiving weekly/monthly updates from subordinates, conducting fact finding meetings, counseling sessions, or conducting periodic inspections of work. Three suggested types of counseling include performance, event, and professional Roth counseling. All three will aid the manager in controlling subordinates under the new leadership style (FM 22-100). Successfully controlling subordinates requires monitoring.

Adhering to and enforcing the policies and practices prescribed in counseling forums are consummate with positive control. Conclusion Leadership styles vary amongst managers. Although the directing leadership style does have its time and place, managers who find themselves stuck in this style of leadership unfounded, should strive to adopt an alternative leadership style altogether. Whether it is participating, delegating, transformational, ramifications, or a combination of one or the other, the change will be fruitless unless the plan to change is chosen, implemented, monitored and controlled.

FM 22-100 states that managers, “Must be able to adjust the leadership style used to the situation and the people you’re leading. Remember also that you are not limited to any one style in a given situation (FM 22-100). ” Leadership styles vary from situation to situation.