The perception of whether your boss is a micromanager or a leader rests with you. How you perceive their behavior around task assignments, projects, and your day to day activity will make you perform well or feel stifled. These feelings can be tied to how you are managed and whether your boss is a leader or a micromanager.

For employers, determining how to lead is difficult. Most of us would probably prefer to lead with a carrot and not the big stick. That’s the difference between leading and inspiring teams and micromanaging or overly controlling your workers. How does this play out in the field? How do workers respond? How can you tell the difference between micromanaging and leading?

What is Micromanaging?

Micromanagers intensely scrutinize every detail. They care about each task within an employee’s daily activity—and workers hate this. It leaves them with the impression that the manager simply doesn’t trust the worker enough to believe they’ll get their work done. Micromanagers constantly pick and ask questions about what workers are doing, what they’ve accomplished, and how they got it done. Micromanaging can help a new employee learn the ropes, but a manager that continues this practice will not win the trust or loyalty of their team.

What is Leadership?

To say a leader doesn’t wonder what their employees are doing isn’t accurate. A leader may hold an employee accountable to deadlines or deliverables. They may review a worker’s duties and responsibilities. But that’s often only if the employee is underperforming. Instead, a leader leads by example, acting ethically and motivating teams. Leaders are comfortable delegating tasks and then trusting their employees to fulfill them without hovering over their shoulder at every turn.

What’s the Difference Between Micromanagement and Leadership?

Leaders help provide strategies to achieve a goal—many times with the advice and input of their teams. But the best leaders will leave the nuts and bolts of operations to the workers. This is true for line-level managers and the c-suite.

A micromanager will make up the goal and lay it arbitrarily at the feet of their workers. They often won’t explain the “why” of the goal or seek their workers’ input. Then they may aggressively question the move of employees to see what steps they’re taking to achieve the goal and how quickly. But mandates do not inspire employees to do their best work, nor does micromanagement.

Real leaders are coaches. They develop a goal and strategy to achieve something and seek the buy-in of everyone on their team. Then they trust their employees to figure out the best ways to get there. Leaders inspire, coach, encourage, and share the responsibility of achieving their goals with their workers. They do not browbeat or discourage workers with excessive pressure or condemnation; instead, they trust and respect their workers. In turn, they’re usually rewarded with higher output and reciprocal trust and respect from their workers.

How do we know this?

We are Exelare, a recruiting software company that works closely with businesses just like yours to improve hiring. Our software has sophisticated reporting metrics that eliminate your need to micromanage. Talk to our team today about how our product can enhance