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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Management

Are You a Micromanager? 8 Ways to Know for Sure

To find out for sure, take our quiz. That is, if you’re not too busy doing everyone's job.

Give yourself 1 point for every A you select, 2 points for every B, and 3 points for every C.

1. As a leader, I am most focused on:

A. Myself, because I tell everyone what to do.
B. My underlings, because they need constant attention.
C. The results I want to achieve; I do what it takes to achieve those results.

2. When I go on vacation, I:

A. What vacation? I don’t think the place can run without me on-site.
B. Take my phone and laptop and check my email multiple times per day.
C. Put a colleague in command and say, “Only contact me in an emergency.”

3. When I give a team member a job to do, I:

A. Give one chance for clarification, and if he or she doesn’t do it right, I take the job away and do it myself.
B. Say, “Good luck,” and then check back every day to see how he or she is doing.
C. Say, “Tell me what I just told you,” and then discuss the job thoroughly so that we understand each other.

4. The last time I singled out an employee in public as the expert on something and put him or her in charge of a job was:

A. Why would I ever do that?
B. I think last year, when I was about to go on maternity/paternity leave.
C. Just last week. I do it all the time.

5. I trust my employees with my:

A. Lunch order. I have no food allergies.
B. Dry cleaning. Usually, it works out.
C. ATM card and security code. They are rock solid.

6. Asking sincere questions of my employees is:

A. Too time consuming.
B. Nice for office rapport but rarely useful.
C. A perfect way to convey respect, build trust, and get information.

7. Gauge the accuracy of this statement: “In my office, everyone knows his or her role and is committed to fulfilling it.”

A. Roles are so 20th-century Fordist. We are fluid and flexible here.
B. Some people know their role; others, I’m not so sure sometimes.
C. That’s the gospel truth!

8. Which statement most describes your relationship with your team members?

A. We nod to one another in the hallway occasionally.
B. I know a little about their interests, and we talk casually by the water cooler.
C. We go out for drinks every month or so, and I buy the first round.

See How You Measure Up

8-12: Yikes!

You’re about as micro as it gets. Just let go, pal.

13-20: Meh

Not perfect, but not horrible. You can do less. Work on building trust.

21-24: Phew

Congratulations! You’re doing nothing and getting a lot done!

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Photo of puppet employee courtesy of Shutterstock.