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Cali Ressler's picture

If micro-managers are like babysitters, then the bosses we all hope to have are like great coaches.

Coaches inspire and bring out the best in their team. Micro-managers slowly suck the life out of you.

Everybody knows a micro-manager, but nobody claims to be one. Certainly, bosses view themselves differently than their employees see them. 1 in 3 managers say they use a coaching style, but only 1 in 5 employees agree (according to this Adecco study). So, here’s my take on some of the most distinctive attributes of an inspiring coach and a micro-manager.

Take this quiz and see what kind of boss you are, or grade your own boss. (You can be honest… we won’t be taking grades!)

What else would you add to this list?


Who controls your time?

A micro-manger tells his employees when to come and go. He may (or may not) “allow” you to leave early before a holiday. You’ll have cringe-worthy conversations with him about working from home and mandatory meetings.

A coach trusts the team to be responsible for their time and meet outcomes. He rewards you for the results you produce, rather than how much overtime you’re putting in. Team meetings are optional and you feel free to skip them if you’re not needed.

Who inspires you?
A micro-manager is controlling and critical. Work has to be done her way, or it’s not good enough. In fact, the micro-manager assumes you have to be watched and made to stay on-task. If you make mistakes, she’s the first to criticize and belittle. She’s the last person you want to ask for help.

A coach inspires and supports her team. She encourages creative ways of approaching work and lets you decide how to get the best results. When you make a mistake, she’s there to figure out what went wrong and help you get back on track. You know she’s got your back.

Cross-posted with permission from 

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