How to Deal with Micromanagement: Everything You Need to Know
Do you have a boss who constantly hovers over your shoulder, watching your every move and questioning your decisions? If so, then it’s likely you are dealing with a micromanager. Micro management can not only be extremely frustrating but can have a negative impact on your work performance and mental health. In this post, we will discuss everything you need to know about micromanagement including signs to look out for, the psychology behind why people micromanage, and how to deal with a micromanaging boss.
What is Micromanagement?
Micro management is a leadership style in which a manager excessively controls and oversees the work of their staff. They are often overly involved in the details of the work and can be very critical of employees. Micromanagers often have difficulty delegating tasks and trusting that others will do them correctly.Sound Familiar?
The Psychological Effects of Micromanagement
Micromanagement can have a number of negative psychological effects on employees, including anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem. Employees who are micromanaged often feel like they are not trusted or valued by their employer. They may also feel belittled, intimidated, and disempowered. Micromanagement can lead to a feeling of being trapped in your job and can cause you to lose motivation and enthusiasm for your work. None of these is conducive to a happy and productive work environment, so it is vital to be aware of the signs of micromanagement and how to deal with it.
Common Signs of Micromanagement
There are several signs that you may be experiencing micromanagement at work. Here are a few of the most common:
- Your boss constantly checks in with you and wants to know every detail of your work.
- You are given no autonomy or freedom to do your job in the way that you see fit.
- You are frequently being corrected or criticised by your boss.
- Your boss tells you exactly how to do the task at hand rather than allowing you to figure
it out yourself and use your own judgement or creativity.
- You feel like you are always being watched and your every move monitored.
- You feel suffocated by the amount of control your boss has over you and your work.
Why Do People Micromanage
Ultimately, micromanagement is an issue of control, but to deal with a micromanager effectively, it is helpful to try and understand why they are behaving in this way – and why some people are prone to this style of leadership. There are a few different reasons why someone might micromanage:
They may be insecure in their own position or abilities and need to exert control over others to feel more competent.
Lack of Trust
They may not trust their employees to do the job properly and so they feel the need to oversee every detail themselves.
They may be perfectionists who need everything to be done a certain way and are unwilling to delegate tasks.
They may be inexperienced or uncertain of how to properly manage people and so they overcompensate by micromanaging.
Fear of Failure
Some managers micromanage because they are afraid that their employees will make mistakes and reflect badly on them.
How to Deal with a Micromanaging Boss
If you have a micromanaging boss, it is important to try and find a way to deal with the situation in a way that is constructive and will not damage your relationship with your boss or your career. Here are a few of our top tips…
If you feel like your boss is micromanaging you, it is important to communicate this to them in an assertive, but respectful way. Explain how their behaviour is impacting you and your work, and try to come up with a solution that will work for both of you. There is a possibility that your boss is not even aware that they are micromanaging, and once you bring it to their attention, they will be more conscious of it and make an effort to change their behaviour. The importance of having honest conversations with your boss cannot be understated.
Set clear boundaries
It is also important to set clear boundaries with your boss in terms of what you are and are not comfortable with.
Be proactive and stay one step ahead
Micromanagers often micromanage because they feel like they are not being kept in the loop. By being proactive and keeping your boss updated on your work, you can help to prevent them from feeling the need to micromanage.
Get clear on expectations
Talk to your boss about their expectations and try to get on the same page. It may be helpful to schedule regular check-ins so that your boss can feel updated on your work without feeling the need to constantly check in with you.
Don’t take it personally
It is important to remember that micromanagement is often about the manager’s own issues and insecurities, and not about you or your abilities. Try to be open to their suggestions and criticisms, and avoid getting defensive when they question your decisions. Resolving to stay calm and patient even when they are being critical will go a long way in diffusing the situation.
Don’t tolerate bullying
If communicating with your boss does not help or if the micromanagement is severe or results in bullying behaviour, it may be necessary to speak to HR or even consider finding a new job. It is important to remember that you should not stay in a job where you are unhappy or where your work is being negatively impacted by someone else’s behaviour. If you have tried to make things work and it is just not possible, then it may be time to move on.
As you can see, while having a micromanaging boss can be immensely frustrating, there are ways to deal with the situation that can often result in a more constructive and productive working relationship. By following our tips, you can learn to manage your micromanaging boss and prevent their behaviour from impacting your work.
Tribe co-founders Oliver Randall and Dan Webber had a great discussion about micromanagement in their latest video. To hear more about their experiences with micromanagement and how to deal with it, you can check it out here.
Have you ever had a micromanaging boss? How did you deal with it? Let us know in the comments below
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