How To Make Your Team Hate You In One Easy Step

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A friend of mine has a cat that she affectionately refers to as her “barnacle,” because he’s always there. Wherever she goes, there he is. The kitchen, the living room, the office, on the stairs—he is constantly underfoot. Sometimes literally.

That’s kind of endearing in a cat. Not so much in a boss.

Nobody wants to have the boss constantly hovering around, looking over their shoulders, meowing for food (or the boss equivalent). In fact, here’s how to make your team hate you in one easy step:

Step 1: Micromanage.

How to make your team hate you in one easy step: micromanage them. #Leadership Click To Tweet

You’ve probably experienced micromanagement. One study indicates that 79% of us have. Of those, 69% said that they had considered changing jobs because of micromanagement (and over a third actually did). Finally, 85% said their morale was negatively affected by micromanagement.

36% of employees say they’ve changed jobs because of micromanagement. #Leadership Click To Tweet

To put it in layman’s terms: micromanagement = not good.

When you micromanage, you are, in essence, telling your team members:

  • “I don’t trust you.” Yes, you were hired to do a job, but I don’t trust that you’re actually good enough to do it properly, so I’m going to hover over you to make sure you do it the right way.
  • “By ‘the right way,’ I mean ‘my way.’” You need my constant supervision because if God forbid, I were to leave you alone to do your job, you might end up doing it in a way that is different from the exact way that I would do it.
  • “I don’t care about your ideas.” There is absolutely no chance that, if you do your job differently than the exact way that I would do it, your way would actually be better. I don’t want or need, to hear your ideas, because there’s no way they could be better than mine.
  • “For some reason, I think that micromanaging you is the best use of my time.” My primary, and most important job is to make sure that you don’t make some stupid mistake that will take down the entire unit, if not the entire company. Thank God I’m here to protect the industry from you!

Kind of makes you wonder about the 15% who say their morale isn’t negatively affected by micromanagement, doesn’t it?

Look, there are times when you, as the leader, do have to step in and make an adjustment if one of your team members has gotten off course. That’s when your coaching skills come into play. But the reason you coach is so that they can improve, not so that you can turn them into robots.


Your job, as the #leader, is to set the course. Then let your team sail the ship. #Leadership Click To Tweet

Your job, as the leader, is to set the course. Then let your team sail the ship. Let them take you to the destination. Let them have the satisfaction of meeting challenges, solving problems, and achieving results.

Because if there’s one thing sailors don’t need, it’s another barnacle.


About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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