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Micromanagement: Dealing with RED PEN Supervisors

NCJ Number
THE POLICE CHIEF Volume: 75 Issue: 8 Dated: August 2008 Pages: 26-28,30
Tracey G. Gove
Date Published
August 2008
4 pages
This article provides an overview of micromanagement within the field of law enforcement and ways in which to avoid this style of management.
Armed with the knowledge of what specifically constitutes micromanagement and strategies for avoiding the behavior will help supervisors and managers ensure health productivity without overstepping the bounds of good leadership. The most common meaning associated with micromanagement is to provide supervisory oversight with excessive control and attention to details that are best left to the operational personnel. Studies show that micromanagement is effective over the short term, but over the long-term is generally seen as ineffective. Micromanaged employees become disengaged from their work, leading to lower productivity. Characteristics of micromanagers include: (1) overly critical of subordinates; (2) easily irritated if decisions are made without their input; (3) spend an inordinate amount of time overseeing simple tasks; (4) seldom praise and never seek out opportunities to provide praise; (5) pride themselves as being “on top of” their officers’ work; (6) subordinates are seen as frustrated, depressed, and/or unmotivated; and (7) subordinates never take initiative, instead they seek permission from their supervisors before doing anything. Advice and/or practical strategies recommended to subordinates on dealing with micromanagers are many however; the focus of subordinates when dealing with this type of behavior should be on adapting their own style to meet managers’ expectations. Effective strategies should not involve trying to “fix” micromanagers. 25 notes