I was raised to make my bed every morning. I learned hospital corners at a young age. My bed was made in a particular way, and it was perfect each day. It was perfect because my mom went and remade the bed every day while I was at school.
If I were to challenge my mom about why she remade my bed each morning, she would justify why. She would say I hadn’t made it tight enough, the sheets were crooked, or I didn’t fold the corners right.
My recent article about being a micromanager gathered a lot of ah-has, laughs, and realizations that some of us are micromanagers. And, in typical micromanager fashion, some of you justified why you were that way and why you weren’t going to change.
If you like to control details, especially small details, of things at work, you are likely a micromanager. If you identify as a perfectionist, have difficulty letting go of responsibilities, and “fix” the work others do, you are likely a micromanager.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”8y2bG” via=”yes” ]If you like to control details, especially small details, you are likely a micromanager.[/ctt]
But we need to stop justifying our bad habits. It’s bad enough that we do it; the justification without any look at the harm it is causing is a problem.
I can’t deny that I didn’t initially do the same. I freely admit that I like things done my way because my way makes sense to me. You may have different reasoning for why you want things done your way, but my logic and reasoning are not likely to change. Read my article to understand why I will never accept that you like Times New Roman.
Which means I justify my behavior. I need to stop.
We can joke about being a micromanager. We can justify why we do the things we do, but we need to change our habits as they create more harm than good.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”7YAJ3″ via=”yes” ]We can joke about being a micromanager. We can justify why we do the things we do, but we need to change our habits as they create more harm than good[/ctt]
I learned three very important lessons when I was a young girl from my bedmaking experience.
- I learned very quickly that my best wasn’t good enough. Sure, I was five years old, but each day I tried to make my bed, I was hopeful that today would be the day where nothing needed to be changed. I was optimistic that my best was good enough. I was disappointed daily because Mom fixed it up each day.
Are you sending that message to your coworkers and employees? If you have a new employee and are “fixing” what they did, are you showing them they aren’t learning fast enough?
Safety and compliance are very different things. If things need to be done a certain way, you can certainly explain why it needs to be adjusted. If you are changing it to fix your own justification, ask yourself if this is the message you mean to send.
2. I learned just as quickly that I didn’t need to try very hard. Once I learned that my best wasn’t good enough, I gave up. It didn’t matter how much effort I put into the task; she would do it her way anyway. Which meant I didn’t put much effort into it at all.
Have you worked with people for many years that you know you’ll have to intercept their work to fix it? Do you sometimes assume they do things sloppy on purpose as they know you will fix it? Is it possible that you’ve taught them to do a half-baked job based on their experience with you?
3. I learned that my mom didn’t trust me. This was the most painful lesson of all. If she trusted me, she wouldn’t even need to look in my room to see if I had made the bed.
I made my bed each day. If that was my task, why did Mom need to go look? Clearly, she didn’t trust that I did it the right way. Trust is the basis for all relationships, and if your coworkers and employees don’t feel trusted by you, you are not part of a healthy work environment.
I promise you that if my mother reads this article, she will be mortified! The lessons that I learned as a young schoolgirl are NOT the lessons she was trying to teach me.
However, they are the consequences of a micromanager.
If you are a micromanager, you may be inclined to disagree with my revelations above. You will revert to your justifications and dismiss my potential consequences.
However, if a healthy workplace is important to you, you’ll instead resolve to curtail your micromanaging tendencies.
As Maya Angelou so famously said, “People will never forget how you made them feel.“ How are you making others feel? You may think that your micromanaging tendencies aren’t affecting anyone.
Think again; they are.