Although it was early on in my career, the memory of her suffering has stayed with me. When I was a junior, I had a more senior colleague who was really struggling with her role. It wasn't that she was particularly bad at it, but we were all being micromanaged into irrelevance and, for her, it built up and up until it was too much. The assumption she couldn't shake was that she was not trusted, seen as incompetent and always one step from a dressing down; although I can't remember that ever actually happening.

Our staff meetings were unbearable, especially for her and especially because of her. She would sit there looking like a rabbit in the headlights; like she could fall apart any minute. If it was her time to speak, or worse be asked questions, her eyes would water, her voice would wobble and her hands would literally start shaking.

I remember sitting there willing for someone just to fire her. Not because I wanted to see her lose her job but because she clearly and desperately needed releasing from the position she was in and, understandably, didn't want to just quit - I imagine she had bills to pay like the rest of us.

She did eventually leave, thank goodness for her. I don't know what became of her, but I can almost certainly guarantee that she was happier wherever she went. Those days taught me a valuable lesson about the cost of things like micromanagement and I have endeavoured to avoid falling in to that trap myself ever since. Our boss wasn't a bad boss, in fact he was a really great guy that I respected enormously but he did have his leadership issues (of which thar was one) and he did very little to acknowledge or remedy it.

Photo by Cassidy Kelley on Unsplash

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