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Hi all, Just looking for some guidance about this.

--- My Boss is accusing me of micromanaging.

My Supervisor is out on medical leave for a few weeks and I have been placed in the role of keeping things together.

I've continued the practice of Bi-weekly staff meetings.

She usually plays the meetings pretty loose. Not much stuff is communicated..

I on the other hand wanted to add a little more structure; especially now that I need to know what is going on.
Some of these people are my Peers.

So, with the call for the Staff meeting I sent out a brief expectation :

========
Please come prepared with :
• What has been accomplished in the past two weeks ?
• Whom have you collaborated with and what did you work on together ?
• Questions or polling opinions of the group for current projects
• Radar of upcoming tasks or events in your area of responsibility or department
• Radar of your upcoming personal schedule

Thanks, see you then.
===============

And then -->

I got an email back from my Boss (who is still reading her email) that says :
========
"You need to cut back on this accounting for actions in staff meetings. Wrong place for it as it looks like micromanaging.... But not this reporting in front of everyone. Sounds too much like you don't trust them to do their jobs. "
=========

Some of these people are my peers. I'm not trying to boss them around - other than, for right now, I am asking them for some organized reporting.

I think they may be bristling at the very idea that I expect them to report to me about what they are doing so I am doing it out in the open -- at a Staff meeting so that everybody hears everything and everybody on the staff knows what everybody else is doing.

That way the whole team is informed about what is going on around here in the Director's absence.
It is not about me getting people to report to just me -- it is about getting everybody together to report to everybody.

How is asking them for a bi-weekly open staff meeting organized verbal report Micro-Managing - or -not trusting them to do their jobs ?

Thanks for your ideas. I'm just trying to get my head straight on this.

--- Obviously, I will follow my instructions and cut back my expectations. I won't push anybody for anything.---

Uncle Auberon

uncleauberon's picture

Yes- and by the way - this Boss, upon my suggestion, emphatically banned me from doing scheduled One-on-ones (or anything that smells like them) with my own Direct Reports. 

She is a great Boss, with many wonderful qualities. She is a High S who easily sits and talks with everybody - ad hoc - whenever the mood strikes.  She conducts these little one-on-ones with the staff at odd moments... and she is good at it.

I am a High C who has hard time interupping people to just sit down and chat.

I hold weekly staff meetings with my Directs (I'm suprised that I she tolerates these weekly meetings).  And I try to engage in small talk with them a few times a week.

UncleAuberon

mrreliable's picture

"Keeping things together" doesn't mean jumping in and rearranging the furniture. You're trying to implement significant changes to management procedures. You're issuing directives You're coming across like the new sherrif in town, and that new sherrif is intent on holding the townfolk accountable and cleaning things up.

You comments are laced with unflattering attitudes toward your supervisor and your boss. "Not much stuff is communicated." "I am asking them for some organized reporting" (implying that there was not organized reporting before). "Little one-on-ones." "Interrupting people to just sit down and chat."

Whether or not your management techniques are a huge improvement to the operation, there's not much future in butting heads with your bosses about it.

uncleauberon's picture

Wow - OK -- I can see what you are saying.

Apparently, that is how some folks are seeing it.

"You're trying to implement significant changes to management procedures"
WOW
I didn't think that going around the table and asking everybody what they have been doing for the past two weeks is a significant change.

This is, in fact, what the Boss does during these bi-weekly meetings
-- (BTW I have been using the terms supervisor/boss/director interchangeable - there is only one boss and she is out on leave)

And the only directives I issued are A) please come to the meeting and B) here are the five things to report on at the meeting

* The only change I made was that I sent an email ahead of time that spells out what I am hoping to hear.

I won't send an email next time.
That email is what sunk me - I guess.

Now I'm thinking when these things happen (and it happened last year as well - she was out for 3 months) that I should not even have staff meetings.
If we are not going to communicate about what we are doing, I don't see a reason to have them.
The boss cancels them half the time as well.

The boss will be back in a couple of weeks.
** I'll just cool it and let things run.

You are right, there is nothing to gain here by upsetting my peers or the boss.

Thanks for the perspective.

And my question - for future reference -- since I may actually be moving up to the position when the boss retires --
Is this Micromanaging ? Is it inappropriate to ask the folks for a an organized report at an open staff meeting ?
Is it sending the message that I don't trust them ?

Thanks
UncleAuberon

ghilios's picture

I recommend looking at this through the intent of the trinity rollout plan. If you recall, it is rolled out gradually in stages over a number of weeks and months. The key as I see it is to communicate change, communicate it again, and iterate slowly on the changes so people understand what you're doing and why. Most importantly - that they also trust you.

What you're suggesting doesn't sound like micromanagement from a bystander's point of view, but it certainly may from the point of view of the people involved who aren't used to things working that way. It doesn't matter if we don't think it is micromanaging - it really only matters if your coworkers interpret it that way.

Since you're not actually the boss right now, I think you're on the right track to just play it cool and keep up the boss's processes. If and when you're the one in charge, introduce change gradually and be clear as to why. Also, I recommend broadcasting such changes in person rather than email.

Good luck. Stay positive. And don't poke a stick in your boss's eye.

rprevans's picture

Liked your post.

One thing to consider is that the lens your boss is using to see what you are doing is as an S. Your email is very strong high C.

Can I also suggest listening to the podcast Introducing Managerial Change - https://www.manager-tools.com/2010/10/introducing-managerial-change?

Ray

williamelledgepe's picture

Good add from rprevans - change and the S don't mix, nor does an S like the set agenda with the possibility of someone not looking good.  

I think the Relationship series would also be helpful here, especially I'm a C my boss is an S. You have to pay separate, but well worth it. https://www.manager-tools.com/products/effective-relationships. 

Kevin1's picture

Here is the same thing done a different way that might be more 'acceptable' to your audience.

Hi all,

XXX has asked me to run the weekly meeting while YYY is away and I could really use your help.

Is this what we usually talk about?  Have I forgotten anything?
• The past two weeks 
• Any cross collaboration? 
• Radar of anything upcoming to share
• Questions or polling opinions of the group for current projects

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks, see you then.

Kind regards

zzzzz

Kevin1's picture

Here is the same thing done a different way that might be more 'acceptable' to your audience.

Hi all,

XXX has asked me to run the weekly meeting while YYY is away and I could really use your help.

Is this what we usually talk about?  Have I forgotten anything?
• The past two weeks 
• Any cross collaboration? 
• Radar of anything upcoming to share
• Questions or polling opinions of the group for current projects

Your help in running this is greatly appreciated.

Thanks, see you then.

Kind regards

zzzzz

williamelledgepe's picture

To answer your first question, what you've done is not micromanagement. 

Regarding change while you are in an Acting role: you need to keep the status quo for those kinds of procedures (staff meetings). I was looking for something Mark had said about not changing anything while you are Acting.  I thought it was in the cast called My Boss Resigned, but I don't see it in the shownotes. What I recall (which could be wrong) is even if your boss had resigned and you were acting (but not permanently and officially in charge) you should not make any changes to processes. 

Personally, I applaud you for taking the initiative to make some good changes to the staff meeting, but I am a High D High C, not an S - and not your boss.