8 Signs You May Be a Meddling Manager


8 Signs you may be a meddling manager (or person, for that matter):

1. It’s not enough that people answer you one time.

You have this need to know everything, even if you tell yourself and others you don’t.

2. They have to answer you multiple times. About the same topic and/or question.

This is often tied to a control issue, and can be misunderstood as a trust issue by the recipient of the questioning.

The-best-executive-is-one-who-has-sense-enough-to-pick-good-people-to-do-what-he-wants-done,-and-self-restraint-enough-to-keep-from-meddling-with-them-while-they-do-it.3. It’s not enough that they have to answer you multiple times about the same topic or question. They have to do that on multiple days and occasions. It becomes a lifestyle.

This becomes frustrating to them, which in turn frustrates you to see that they’re frustrated with you.

4. It’s not enough that people answer your questions. They also have to justify their answers to you. You need their rationale. All. The. Time.

Eventually their answers alone aren’t enough. You need to know why. Every time.

5. It’s not enough that people justify their answers to you. They have to justify their answers to you repeatedly. Remember that lifestyle thing? Yeah.

It becomes a vicious and exhausting cycle.

6. It’s not enough that people justify themselves to you repeatedly. They have to justify themselves repeatedly to you until they provide a justification you deem valid.

At this point, though you wouldn’t say it like this, you really are, for all practical purposes, wanting this person to think exactly like you. It begins to seem like you might just secretly feel that you always know better than others.

7. You unwittingly and often unintentionally anoint yourself the ultimate arbiter of what they should or should not do, when they should or should not do it, and with whom they should or should not do it.

Refer to the above.

8. Soon, you may even find yourself doing this with their personal lives as well as their professional lives. You’ve accidentally gone from micromanaging them at work, to meddling in the entirety of their lives.

Yikes. If that’s you, be self-aware enough to realize it, and humble enough to admit it and quit it. That way, everyone wins.


  1. Great stuff, Matt. I’m going to print this out and tape it up somewhere…where I can see it every day.

  2. Kathy Boas says:

    Matt –

    Good reminders. I’m going to take Anthony’s idea and post these as well.

    Kathy Boas

  3. Can see myself agreeing to most of the post… sharing right away with my pals

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