Articles | 06/13/2018

Solo, You Are a Micromanager!

by Dina Eisenberg

If you do everything in your law practice because you believe that nobody can do it better and others will just waste your time and money, guess what? You are a micromanager, Solo!

It seems funny to say that solo lawyers can also be micromanagers when you don’t have team. Yet, it’s true. Because you refuse to delegate you are vulnerable to making the same mistakes that a small firm lawyer would make when it comes to outsourcing.

Whether you are a solo lawyer or a small firm lawyer, you suffer the same bad results when you micromanage: poor work experiences, lower quality work, stress and burnout. Let’s look at micromanaging a little closer.

What is micromanaging?

Micromanaging is a management style where you have excessive control over every detail and aspect of the project without regard to the impact on others or yourself.

You know exactly what it feels like to be micromanaged if you’ve worked for anyone else for any length of times. It sucks.

Signs that you are a micromanager

You need a truthful mirror to reflect to you things that are true but not necessarily seen by you. That’s the kind of clarity I offer to my private clients.

There are signs that you micromanage that you might not see in yourself. Check this list out. You are a micromanager if you…

  1. Have a hard time asking for help
  2. Check in frequently to see if the work is being done/done your way
  3. Monitor every detail, even the smallest ones
  4. Believe that no one can produce what you can
  5. Don’t take advice or suggestions from others
  6. Make all the decisions involved in the project
  7. Believe that others will waste time or money


What micromanaging says about you

There are so many jokes and war stories about micromanagers. That’s kinda sad. People see micromanagers as difficult to work with, disrespectful and rude.

While some micromanagers like being characterized as ‘particular’, it really is a bad look, especially if you want to grow your law firm. You tell the world these things when you refuse to delegate effectively…

  • You lack trust in yourself
  • You lack trust in others
  • You fear mistakes
  • You fear being judged
  • You lack the ability to see talent in others
  • You lack emotional intelligence


Harvard Business Review reports that collaboration and soft skills are the key skills to possess if you want to future-proof your business. That seems especially true for lawyers as the profession adjusts to new market conditions and demands from clients for more efficiency.

How do you stop micromanaging?

How do you stop micromanaging?

First, realize that you didn’t develop this habit overnight or for no good reason. You won’t lose it without a fight or over the weekend. It will take consistent attention and effort to reshape your thinking and behaviors. Be patient with yourself.

Second, get a coach. You need guidance and feedback. You can’t properly hear what you sound like so you need a truthful mirror to reflect to you and show you where to change. I’d be happy to help you

Third, practice delegation. Delegate more. Start small. Recognize that you and your help have a shared goal: doing the best work possible.

Fourth, shift your mindset from managing to leading. Managers control things. Leaders inspire action, collaboration, and commitment. Leaders focus on the positive, not the negatives.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity- George Patton

Are you a micromanager? No worries if you are. You can grow out of it and have a happier, less stressful work life with guidance and a little work on your emotional intelligence.

For more information and friendly guidance, connect with Dina Eisenberg at

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