When you are the new person on a team, it can be hard to tell if your boss’s rude, brusque behavior is the result of a bad day or if they have a habit of creating a toxic environment of fear and anxiety for their employees. A difficult boss who is micromanaging can be reasoned with. But a toxic boss who lacks empathy can wreck your physical and mental health, causing you to lose sleep and dread each workday.
There’s a key difference between being attentive and being a controlling, obsessive manager. When does managing someone turn into the unwanted and unhelpful monitoring of their performance? There are many reasons a manager may need to take a more hands-on approach to productivity, but micromanagement often stems from the worry that an employee can’t do the job well without the manager’s close supervision.
“The problem with this type of feedback ― although it feels great to receive it ― is that it is not reinforcing any behaviors. In order to turn meaningless feedback into something that will encourage employees to continue to perform, the feedback must be very specific,” said Angela Karachristos, a career coach who has worked in human resources.