Why Do People Micromanage Others? Do you?

Here’s the thing. Most people who micromanage others do not realize they are doing this. They also tend to manage this way for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is because they have not had strong examples and role models who would have shown them via examples of how to actually manage people well. Another reason people micromanage others is because they are not confident in their own abilities, and this lack of confidence manifests itself in how they treat and manage them.

Lack of trust is also a reason people micromanage those who work for them. Establishing trust is something we know takes time, and unfortunately even with a fair amount of time working for a manager who has micromanagement tendencies, will not change their behavior. So, what are you supposed to do when you work for someone like this? I’m going to assume this management style does what I refer to as rub your fur the wrong way each day.

The first thing I can tell you is that most micromanagers can change, although if you are working for one, it might be hard to imagine this. Generally, the first approach I take when I come across someone who is a micromanager, is to ask them the following questions:

  • How would you describe your management style?
  • What type of communication style is your preference for interacting with me and the rest of the team?
  • What provides you with a sense of comfort in terms of reporting on results of projects or tasks being worked on (e.g., verbal, visual, both)?
  • How much autonomy are you comfortable with giving me on all of my projects on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the most comfortable)?
  • What does it take to earn your trust on being able to work independently?
  • What level of involvement (e.g., hands-on, hands-off) do you prefer to have as it relates to the work your direct reports are doing?
  • Describe your ideal management style.  

Once you have answers to the questions above, you can then start to better understand why and how this person manages the way they do. However, if you are unsure about how to go about indirectly helping them to change their management style to one which better suits you –  and no, I do not think a micromanagement style suits anyone, here are some options to consider pursuing.

  • If you think you can reduce the micromanagement level of your boss by better understanding why they manage the way they do, you might be able to continue working for them.
  • Altering a person’s management style is a complex thing to do, and they have to first recognize this style is not ideal, and want to consciously change and not manage this way. If you can get them to recognize they are a micromanager by talking to them about the style of management which best suits you, you might have a shot at getting them to reconsider and work on changing their current style.
  • People in general do not like change, so the chances of someone altering their micromanagement work style is going to take both time and patience. It will also take having this manager learn alternative ways of managing, and this will take coaching and mentoring from others who are not micromanagers.

So, how do you know if you are a micromanager? 

  • People do not tend to work for you very long.
  • Your team does not seem to be as engaged or productive as other teams.
  • Direct reports do not often seek your advice.
  • People who report to you often appear to be frustrated.
  • Your management peers do not engage with you as much as they do with other managers.
  • You have not received many promotions, or opportunities for growth at your present or prior companies.

We all would agree that being or working for a micromanager is not ideal, yet there are many people who fall into both of these categories. If you recognize you are, or have tendencies of being a micromanager, this is a good thing. Why? Because a person can only change when they first recognize these management traits, and then realize they are not ideal. Seeking guidance on how to change your management style is highly recommended, as no one wants to be a micromanager, or work for someone who is one. Please ask for help. Getting help could save and alter your career in a really positive way.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief PerformanceStrategist and CEO of Market Me Too. MarketMe Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called WisdomWhisperer which is available via Amazon, and has had numerous strong reviews.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Think of me as a “people are like diamonds – polisher”.

If you want better results with what you are doing, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen atkathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.T

Figuring things out in your 20’s and 30’s to prevent your mid-life crisis

Let’s first start off by acknowledging that the majority of people coming out of college or high school do not have a clear vision about what they will be ideally doing for the next 10-20 years. What tends to happen is that after graduating from school, people begin their journey into becoming an adult, and joining what some refer to as “the real world”. You know what I’m talking about…paying for your own phone, apartment, food, transportation, student loans, etc. The list of expenses seems like they have come out of nowhere, and most people in the first 2-4 years’ post-graduation are adjusting to becoming an adult, with real life responsibilities.

In your mid-twenties, you start to think about whether the job you decided to accept and pursue is in good alignment with what you like to do, and the reality is that often it isn’t. This tends to add to your stress, although you keep plugging along, as you are not certain what you should be doing instead. You also begin to start thinking about your romantic partnering reality, and if you are not in a serious relationship, this can also cause more stress, as the majority of people are interested in having a meaningful connection with someone.

Adding to this stress, is that many woman in their mid 20’s to mid 30’s often also start to begin panicking about whether they will be able to find the right partner, and they do have cause for concern, especially if they want to have children. Unfortunately, fertility statistics are not working in women’s favor as they enter into their 30’s, and the reality is that many women are not either emotionally or financially ready to take on becoming a Mother until they surpass 30.

I realize the written picture I have painted isn’t as promising and rosy as most people would prefer it to be. However, there is a strong degree of harsh realities associated with what is happening to the young adults in their 20’s and 30’s. Fortunately there is good news though, and here is some of the advice I give to help people in these decades of their life to not only reduce their stress, but enjoy these decades more than they might currently be doing.

  • Keeping your experiences in perspective is critical. Even though you may not be in a job you want to have, live where you want to, be in the relationship you would prefer to be in, all of these things can change very quickly. Also for the better.
  • Yes, misery can enjoy company, but do your best to avoid others who are chronic complainers or drama kings or queens. They will only drag you down, and no ones needs or enjoys this type of interaction.
  • Seek out people who are doing things (e.g., hobbies, activities) or work you either enjoy doing, or aspire to be doing. The best way to change your situation, especially if you are not satisfied is to take action.
  • Volunteering your time is also a great way to realize you may be in a better off situation than you think you are, and yes, you do have time to help others. No excuses, as most of you are only responsible for taking care of yourself.
  • Challenge yourself everyday to get out of your comfort zone. Someone in their mid 20’s the other day was surprisingly shocked that I practice what I tell others, and do something every day to challenge myself. You should never stop doing this.
  • Ask for help and guidance from others, especially others who have more life experience than you do. This could be your family members, or people that are 15-20 years plus older than you, and who have volumes of strong advice or suggestions to help you. People also derive enormous satisfaction from helping others, so let them help you.
  • Come up with an action oriented and goal driven plan for the next 5-10 years of what you would like to accomplish. We are so used to having most of our lives programmed for us up until we are 18-22, but after these ages, we are on our own to come up with a plan. The funny thing about this, is you might not realize this is the case, although upon telling you this, it probably seems obvious. Make your plan flexible enough to be accomplished, and yet challenging enough so you can experience and delight in your progress being made.
  • Seeking therapy is also a strong option, as therapists can help you to get to the root cause of what is causing you to feel the way you do, especially if you are experiencing more anxiety than you are comfortable with. However, in reality, it can also take years to feel better, and there is no guarantee offered from therapists that you will feel different or any better after you have been in therapy.
  • Most people I talk to do not fully understand who they are, or what motivates them, or what their purpose is. Figuring this out is far easier than you might think, and as a certified Gallup Strengths Coach, I help people with this challenge every day. I also love doing this, and I have seen incredible results from helping people to understand better who they are and what they are good at in less time than you might think it would take. Many people I work with also have a therapist, and I laugh when they tell me that working with me is much more therapeutic, and gets actual and faster results. How ironic.

I wish I could tell you there is a magic formula for figuring things out in your 20’s and 30’s. There isn’t, but these are a few of the suggestions I give people who ask me for advice on this topic. Let me know if some of them help you out, or if you have suggestions I can share with others which have helped you. This is my “thanksgiving” gift to you. Happy Thanksgiving…if you happen to celebrate this holiday.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too. Market Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon, and has had numerous strong reviews.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Think of me as a “people are like diamonds – polisher”.

If you want better results with what you are doing, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

 

Progress – Are you making some?

Sometimes you can recognize progress. Usually, though, it takes much longer to see or experience any type of forward motion. There are many ways to measure progress. In the high technology marketing world I have lived in almost my entire career, just about everything I have worked on had some type of measurement tool available. This became normal to me, but not every job has this high level of what I refer to as disciplined scrutiny.

Feeling like you are under the microscope every day can be exhausting, and more stressful than I care to think about. Although it can take its toll, especially if you don’t know how to inject a sense of counter balance into the mix, being professionally trained to make progress on a daily basis does have benefits.

Let me tell you about a friend who was also a former client – I helped her to produce her first Jazz CD. For most of our lives, she has been the complete opposite of me in almost everything we each did, professionally. When I would give her marketing, branding, or business advice, she either did not listen to my suggestions, or she would do the exact opposite.

As you can imagine for someone who is used to making daily progress, working with her at times was incredibly frustrating, but I knew what we were working on would pay off one day. I just didn’t know how long it would take. Fast forward almost 20 years. As we reconnected, she reminded me how I used to tell her, “I know the person who can accomplish doing what we are talking about is hiding in you, and will someday make their debut.”

Well this day arrived, and for the first time I witnessed an example of progress being made as I watched her giving a voice lesson to a promising future Broadway singer. Teaching voice lessons and getting paid to do so has always been something my friend wanted to do, and she was doing this right in front of me.

The next example of progress I saw from my friend occurred as she was skeptically listening to financial advice. I later learned that she took the next step and scheduled a time to review and put into action the financial advice given to her.  She was listening!

This woman had always wanted to make a living from her ability to sing. After more than two and a half decades of pursuing this dream, it is now a reality. Seeing this type of progress is something that took far longer than I imagined, but it did happen. The best part is that the progress my friend is now making is at an exponentially swift pace. She now has perspective on what it means to achieve the kind of progress she has made.

My friend has always believed in her ability to be able to make a living from her natural gift, but the most gratifying part is seeing her now be able to make longer-term decisions, including living in an artist’s loft in New York City. The most remarkable part of where she lives today, is that she only came across this space after she lost her last apartment and everything in it to a building fire. Luckily, she and her dog were out walking when the fire occurred, and no one was hurt.

How progress is measured depends on the type of work you are doing, and can be subjective to measure depending on what it is you are trying to quantify. My profession is a creative, strategic and heavily people-oriented one, designed to have a positive influence on people. The measurements are unique to the work I do. The point is that even a small amount of progress can be beneficial.

Sometimes it is important to take time to celebrate our small progress wins, as over time they accumulate and can produce amazing results. My friend is a great illustration. I hope you will soon have your own examples of progress you can appreciate and be proud of.

This story is dedicated to my long-time friend, Ellen O’Brien, who also happens to be an incredibly talented Jazz and near future Broadway singer. Listen to some of her songs at www.ellenobrien.com

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon, and has had numerous strong reviews.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis, producing repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally.

 

 

Connected socially, but not really

My father is the perfect example of someone who has enormously benefitted from mobile and social media connections. He was not someone you would classify as an early adopter of technology, but when he was reluctantly coaxed into purchasing his first mobile phone, it was a life changing experience for him.

Having three children and seven grandchildren, with his mobile phone, my father now had a new way to communicate with people that was far different from the standard way of speaking with people on the phone as he had done so for years. He still enjoys speaking on the phone, but his mobile phone has opened up a whole new way for him to communicate.

Texting appears to be his newest favorite form of communicating, and based on the number of emoji’s he has, I personally think he must send emoji ideas to designers, or has them created for him. He also loves sending all of us unique photos which tie into our interests and hobbies, and I am also amazed at how he does this so well.

Although mobile communications and social media are powerful connecting methods, they are also only one to two-dimensional in terms of being able to connect people. Connecting with people face to face is still the most powerful way of communicating with others. However, given the choice, it seems that more people will opt to engage with people via social media versus seeing them in person. Obviously, there are some people who we cannot easily see in person due to distance or other extenuating circumstances, and this is an upside to social media interactions.

Since engaging with social media has a relatively low barrier for easily being able to interact with people, I have seen that more people will defer to this type of engagement rather than making the effort to see people in person. What they may not realize, is that the social media interactions they have do not have the same level of genuineness and impact level that in person interactions have. In person interactions take planning and time, and given the fact people are so busy, they will generally defer to interacting via social media versus in person connections.

Fewer in person interactions and increased social media interactions are what in my opinion have contributed to people being less apt to have strong face to face conversations, as well as making them feel less connected to others. There is a serious disconnect that occurs when we exclusively communicate via social media, or have this method of interacting with others at such a high percentage rate which causes an imbalance for us socially.

Humans have a strong need and desire to socially engage with others, and our social media interactions cannot be a complete substitution for this. However, when you are out in public, look around and just about half or more of the people you see will be heads down, with their phone commanding their full attention. I have often wondered if due to this phenomenon and new reality, if it has contributed to our levels of anxiety and depression. This could also be despite the fact people think they are fully socially engaging with others, but in reality, they really are not.

In person communications takes both patience and practice, and engaging in social media does not necessarily contribute to helping to enhance these skills. So, if you feel as if your anxiety levels are on the increase, consider utilizing your social media communications to set-up face to face interactions with people. Doing this will make you feel much more connected, and will help to develop your actual and real relationship with the people you are engaging with either personally or professionally.

Start queuing up your in-person meetings with your on-line people right now. Once you do this, you will then start enjoying the benefits of truly leveraging the full power of your on-line world of connections, especially when you have them cross over into your real world. What are you waiting for? I’ll be waiting to hear from you.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results.

If you want better results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

 

Take one step forward to change everything

I recently saw a saying which conveyed if you do not like where you are, then move. This can apply to so many scenarios, and it can literally mean pivoting and taking one step in a different direction. Have you ever noticed that sometimes making the smallest changes in any situation can have a significantly positive outcome? Take for example moving your desk to another place in your office, or rearranging and organizing items on your desk. Although these are small and seemingly inconsequential movements, they can have an impact on how you approach your next tasks.

When people are in scenarios which are unknown to them, or they are preparing to go someplace they have not been, the most difficult part of going there can be the first step they take. However, when they take their first step forward and literally look back, they have made more progress by doing this, as it is easier to continue going forward than it is to take a step back.

Earlier today I was talking to someone I have known for many years, and who has a son who is training to be a Navy Seal. He was telling me about some of the training his son has been going through, and just the first week alone and getting through it sounded nearly impossible. The sleep deprivation part of the training alone would have knocked me out of becoming a Seal, and it got me thinking about how do people get through the training process, and at what point do they decide they can’t make it through?

I have not spoken to a Navy Seal directly. However, based on hearing about my friend’s son and the type of training he has gone through, I have deduced that in order to become a Seal, it not only takes a very determined individual, but they must also possess having a certain level of mental toughness combined with sheer tenacity and a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed.

Each day when the prospective Seals are in training, the first step they take must in some respects be the most difficult one. Especially since they know the day ahead of them is likely going to be tougher than the previous days. If non-Seals or regular people are fortunate, they will not face the same challenges that taking the first step forward Seals in training encounter. However, I do know that taking the first step for some people can be daunting, and most of the time it is the mental aspect, not the physical aspect which makes moving ahead difficult.

So, if taking a step forward in any situation is made challenging due to the mental aspect, what can you do to overcome and move ahead? Here are some suggestions for you:

  • Focus on your end goal.
  • Seek encouragement from others to help you to take the first step.
  • Visualize what it will feel like when you have completed the project or scenario.
  • Talk yourself into getting started, and tell yourself it will not be as hard as you think it might be.
  • Set a timeframe for accomplishing either part of the project or scenario, and work towards completing it.
  • Look for others who inspire you. They may in fact have nothing to do with what you are challenging yourself to move ahead with, but they can provide inspiration for you to move ahead based on what they accomplished.
  • Establish a reward for yourself once you move ahead and then complete your project or scenario.
  • Share your completed accomplishment with someone you are comfortable with. You might in fact inspire them to do something they are afraid of doing based on what you accomplished.

No matter who you are, or what you have accomplished, everyone has things in their work and life which hold them back from moving forward. Sometimes people even seem to enjoy complaining about how they are stuck and cannot make progress. Doing this does not serve them or anyone else well, and the trick to preventing this from happening is to focus and know that by taking that first step forward, they can literally have a life changing scenario occur. Now that’s worth finding the courage to move ahead.

So, what’s next? This is a rhetorical question. Get up and take your first step towards reaching the goal you thought you could not reach. I know you can do this, and I hope I’m part of playing the role for your inspiration to do so.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results.

If you want better results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.