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micromanagement
Leadership Tips: Prevent Micromanagement

Do you feel like your leader or church leadership is micromanaging you? I’ve been there and it’s one of my biggest pet peeves. I know that when I’ve been micromanaged, my first response it to blame it on the other guy. I say things like “He’s a bad leader” and “She has trust issues.” Before we blame it on the rain anymore than we already have, let’s look at two main reasons why micromanagement happens. At the end, I’ll provide a way out.

2 Main Reasons Micromanage Happens:

  1. Your leader/leadership is extremely insecure. Unfortunately you cannot do much to help this reason other than be a constant encouragement to them. You’ll need to walk the fine line of being an encouragement and being a suck up. No one likes a suck up. Ultimately, if this is your leader, they will need to overcome their own insecurities by themselves. The second reason is the one that we can work with…ready?
  2. Your leader is on guard. While I’m totally against micromanagement, I have been known to slip into it from time to time. Why do we do this? We are unsure. I’m not unsure about myself or my leadership ability; I’m unsure about who I’m leading. The cold hard truth is that if you’ve done something to make your leader nervous or unsure, then they will likely micromanage you. It’s like this: Whenever someone on my team causes me to question their ability, I’m more likely to get more involved. The opposite is true too: The more comfortable I am, the less I’ll micromanage.

How do we make our leadership unsure? Did you make decisions that impact others without talking to anyone? Did you blow budget money? Did something go wrong and you conveniently forgot to take ownership? Were you too abrasive with your pastor about something? Do you hide in your office?

Maybe it isn’t what you did, but how you’ve responded to a situation. Did someone approach you with a complaint and you were sharp with them? Did your pastor offer a suggestion and you shut him down? Are you defensive? Do you avoid conflict only to allow it to blow up? Are you constantly feeling sorry for yourself?

What’s the best way to fix it? You need to apologize, move on, and dial it down. No one likes to manage a leader that is all over the place. Your goal is to become more stable. Start asking these questions: “Will this build trust or destroy trust?” “Who do I need to include?” “Is this a battle worth fighting?” “How can I be consistent?”

Once you start doing these things, your leadership will put down their antennas and micromanage less.

How has this played out in your ministry? 

  • Keith Parker

    I agree with this post. So often, our insecurities lead us to mistreat and mismanage others. Thanks for reminding us of this. If we would trust in God’s abilities instead of our own, perhaps we would be less defensive.

  • Keith Parker

    I agree with this post. So often, our insecurities lead us to mistreat and mismanage others. Thanks for reminding us of this. If we would trust in God’s abilities instead of our own, perhaps we would be less defensive.

  • HeatherLeaCampbell

    Great things to remember when I feel micromanaged. Sometimes it IS our fault and we need to step our game up. At the same time, we should remember how we feel when we begin to micromanage people…which I think is a problem of mine. I’m the best at everything, can’t you see? ;)

  • HeatherLeaCampbell

    Great things to remember when I feel micromanaged. Sometimes it IS our fault and we need to step our game up. At the same time, we should remember how we feel when we begin to micromanage people…which I think is a problem of mine. I’m the best at everything, can’t you see? ;)

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