Career expert and Australian small business trailblazer Amanda Rose shares her top tips for dealing with a boss that has their eye on your every move.
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Working for a micromanager can be extremely frustrating and it has only become more common since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Micromanagers are bosses who want to know everything a worker is doing and make every decision for them – creating double the work.
Often it’s the result of promoting someone that isn’t skilled at managing people.
Instead, they are usually technicians that are good at what they do.
Micromanagement has increased since COVID-19 forced people to work from home because the micromanager can’t visually see someone doing the work.
Control freaks fear that someone else doing something differently means it won’t work or won’t happen.
Here is my best advice for dealing with a boss who is a micromanager:
TIP 1: DON’T RESIST IT
Micromanagers hate when people fight back so it is better to be proactive and give them what they want.
Feed them as much information as possible.
Don’t wait for them to ask you what is going on, copy them into every email if you have to so they are across it.
Schedule weekly or daily catch-ups if necessary.
TIP 2: LET THEM BELIEVE THEY CALL THE SHOTS
Before making a decision, discuss it with the micromanager first and get their buy-in.
Make them think it is them coming up with the ideas.
Just don’t expect to take any glory.
TIP 3: OVERWHELM THEM
My “back-off” tip is to copy the micromanager into “absolutely every” email and correspondence.
Hopefully they will become overwhelmed with information and ask to be left off the list.
TIP 4: QUANTIFY LOST PRODUCTIVITY
Write down everything you have been asked to do then explain how much longer it will take to get it done if you have to wait for approval every step of the way.
Often micromanagement reduces productivity so if you can use an app like Toggl and show how you have had to double your hours then they can see the inefficiencies of micromanaging you.
Be matter of fact about it.
If you hold it in and explode you will look like the problem.
TIP 5: BE PREPARED TO WALK AWAY
You can’t really change them.
If it gets really bad, you are going to have to get another job.
Originally published as How to deal with a workplace micromanager