I reflected on this flaw of mine and determined two main reasons why I micromanage. I then generated goals that will assist in curbing the behavior.
The number one reason I micromanage. I like being in control. I like the comfort of scratching a task off my to-do list well ahead of schedule. I like arranging all the details and making multiple back-plans just in case something was to go wrong. If you wanted to spin my controlling tendencies in a positive light, you could say I am motivated and prepared for anything. I determined that my tendency to control had to do with anxiety. I fear if I don’t complete a task right away, I will forget about it and miss a deadline. Or I am anxious that something could go wrong, and I won’t know what to do in the moment. Since I am a control addict – I find that living on the edge and spontaneity are rarely an option. I stress about the littlest thing going wrong, or I badger if I fear something will not be done on time. By being this way, I find myself in conflict with friends, family, and most frequently my husband.
The second reason I micromanage. I lack trust in others. I send the message to my loved ones when I swoop in with my plans and timetables that I don’t trust they can do the job. A lack of confidence in other’s abilities to carry out and complete tasks is what often causes me to break off more than I can chew. I also recognize that by taking on more because I lack trust, I have the potential to become resentful. A feeling I do not want to have with my family and friends. I am also concerned that if I continue to lack confidence in other’s I will never find myself promoted to a leadership role at work. To be a leader in the workforce one must learn to delegate, which will require a certain level of trust in others.
So how do you change and curb micromanaging tendencies?
- I will trust myself. I pride myself on being a good communicator. I give many details, I clarify, and I allow others to ask questions about things that may be confusing. I need to trust my abilities to communicate well. I can do this by not checking up on someone or nagging them about when and how they are doing a task. You are saying you don’t trust the instructions you gave that person.
- I will delegate. Part of being a good leader and minimizing the chance for conflict and resentment to build is learning to assign tasks, so you do not become overburdened. Letting other’s help with a job, will assist in relieving stress and reducing conflict.
- I will be creative and in the moment. While I don’t think I will ever be capable of throwing all backup plans and checklists to the wind. I do think a certain level of creativity when an issue arises couldn’t hurt me. I think in doing so, I could test my mind and come up with more inventive means of accomplishing a task.
- I will manage my anxiety. Since anxiety is a huge part of the fear of losing control, I will manage this through breathing, recognizing, and letting go.
I hope that my fellow MM’s may find some similarities between my micromanaging flaw and their own and utilize my strategies for themselves. Perhaps together we can tame our micromanaging ways!