Five questions for a micromanager

control micromanaging teams Sep 10, 2021

Currently, I’m working with a self-confessed micro-manager. (I’ll call her Sam).

Sam knows this behaviour has got a lot worse during the pandemic with her team WFH.

She knows this is getting in the way of good leadership and she’s also finding it exhausting - but she feels nervous about being ‘hands off’ and (in her words) ‘losing control and not knowing what’s going on’.

And that’s the problem - we tend to look at things as either/or.

Either I’m a micromanager or I’m hands off.

But as you know by now (do I say this enough?!) we can take one step at a time to change any behaviour that’s not serving us or others well.

There’s a lot to explore with something like micromanaging - and we’ll be digging deeper into this I’m sure as Sam and I work together.

But she wanted to do something practical to make a start.

So this is what we did:

I asked her these questions to get to the root of her micromanaging...

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Changing your Team Culture – We forget the blindingly obvious

How easy it is to forget the basics!

Over the last month, I’ve sent you four articles on how to change your team culture – sharing the very practical steps that you need to focus on and in what order (no theoretical meanderings that don’t work in the real world!).

As luck would have it, I’ve been working with a team recently who helped me understand one of the much more fundamental ‘blocks’ to changing or building culture.

In this particular case, the team had been brought together following a restructure and dived head-long into a massive piece of work thus ‘cobbling things together’ (their words) as they went along. 

This team needed a massive PAUSE. A ‘stepping off the treadmill, let’s start at the beginning and create something that will work’ type of pause. 

‘let’s build our firm foundation’ type of pause.

Now you know, as well as I do, that when we’re busy...

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Changing your Team Culture – Make it work in the real world

team culture teams May 24, 2019

Over the last three weeks I’ve been sharing with you a step by step process to help you change your team culture. (if you can’t find the articles contact [email protected])

In last week’s article, I talked about the importance of focusing on no more than three critical behaviours to change – if you try to change everything at once, you’ll end up changing nothing.

A while back, I worked with a senior Finance Team. One of the things the new leader wanted was a ‘more open’ culture. He’d been saying this for a while and everybody nodded their heads in agreement – but nothing changed.


He hadn’t been specific enough about what ‘more open’ actually means and how that translates into daily working life.

When I asked each of the team to define ‘more open’ they each had their own ideas about what this meant – but they’d never really articulated this as a...

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Changing your Team Culture – Be real, not fluffy

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve shared with you the three steps you need to follow if you want to change the culture in your team. Last week we looked at the importance of respecting and recognising your team’s history before you start changing things.

This week, I want to help you get clarity about what you want to change and why.

What do you want to change? And why?

  • Can you clearly and succinctly explain the need for culture change – and the specific outcomes you are looking for?
  • Can the team see for themselves what needs to change but maybe just don’t know where to start?
  • Or are they cynical or worried about changing things? Can’t see the point? Tried before and nothing really changed?
  • What are the pros and cons of change for everyone? The challenges and opportunities?
  • Let people explore these questions and grapple with some of the answers.
  • Tap into their aspirations.
  • Then co-create the change together. This is NOT a...
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