I coach in both organizations and in personal lives. It is amazing how often I read an article or speak to somebody about challenges in the corporate world and can pretty much directly apply it to personal relationships. Today is a prime example. I was just reading a New York Times Magazine article “What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team” and saw this comment: “….. traits the best managers share (unsurprisingly, good communication and avoiding micromanaging is critical; more shocking, this was news to many Google managers).”
This made me think of the challenges couples encounter in their relationships. Good communication is certainly key and that’s not new or surprising me to. What I took a different perspective on was the micromanaging comment. In a personal relationship, no one person is the “manager” so what frequently happens is both people take on that role and, because we always feel our way is the right way and our opinion the right opinion, we begin to micromanage the other person. Either this is going one way and one person ends up bossing the other around or it goes both ways and both people are nitpicking and trying to get the other to do things their way.
This doesn’t work in business and it doesn’t work at home. Giving up our need to control and our need to be right can be very difficult but what is at stake here? Again, comparing business to personal, I think the same things happen: disengagement, withdrawing, resentment, ill feelings and maybe even sabotaging behaviours. Is this what you want your relationship to be like? And, like those Google managers, you may be shocked that your partner doesn’t want your constant direction!
Where in your relationship might you be perceived as micro-managing? What would it take to stop being a micro-managing romantic partner? What would your relationship gain if you stopped micro-managing? What’s the worst or best thing that could happen?
I’d love to see some comments on how you might be micro-managing and would even more love to see comments as to what happens when you reduce or eliminate this behaviour.
PS: Here’s the link to the article in case anybody wants it: what-google-learned-from-its-quest-