Micro managers smother. They hover over you, constantly check in, offer advice when none is needed and expect you to do things their want and to their schedule. https://hbr.org/2011/10/was-steve-jobs-a-good-decision/
They allow little freedom and work can soon feel like a prison sentence!
Many micro managers are new to managing and don’t yet fully understand how to empower their team members. Others have been burned in the past and are overcompensating to keep it from happening again.
Whatever the cause improve the situation with these 5 Top Tips:-
1. Show your capability
Micromanaging stems from a lack of trust and a need for control.
Micro managers are often chiefly concerned with their employees’ performance. Therefore a good way to handle a micro-manager is to go over and above what is expected of you – and gain a reputation for excellence.
Clearly show your manager that you are competent and know what you’re doing – through your actions.
It’s not enough to assure them with words. By consistently performing you will eventually improve your competence and gain their trust…in time.
2. Be Proactive
Do your best to look ahead and anticipate what’s coming up and act early.
That way, when your manager asks you to do something you can reassure them it’s already in hand and under control.
This will provide them with a much appreciated sense of relief and again show that you are capable and don’t merit supervision.
3. Keep them informed
Micro managers often have a need to know what’s happening so set their mind at rest that all is well. They probably just want to make extra sure that you’ve got the task on your radar too.
No manager likes surprises (especially any unpleasant ones).
So don’t keep any secrets or try to hide away any problems. Be upfront and honest.
Provide your manager with regular updates and share your challenges – preferably share them after you’ve resolved them to show that you’ve handled them on your own – giving them solutions NOT problems.
4. Play by the rules
Micro managers like catching people in the act – it justifies their way of managing. So don’t make yourself an easy target.
Follow the rules of the company especially regarding those written policies and procedures you might find in the staff handbook.
5. Ask for more!
Your micro-manager might not even realise what you’re doing and how it affects you.
Remain professional and polite but call it to their attention by asking for more freedom
One way to do this is to make it more about helping THEM:-
“I know you’re busy. Why don’t you let me take some of the stuff off your plate?”
Or you can be more direct about it:-
“I think I can manage this on my own. Why don’t I take the lead and check in with you if I get stuck?”
Or you can be even MORE direct:-
“I’d like to discuss my role and how I can earn more freedom/responsibility/independence.”
This last one is opening a larger discussion that may be worthwhile.
If you’ve been working with a micro-manager for a long time and things aren’t improving, it’s time to put together a plan to fix the problem.
Notice how we say ‘earn’ more freedom etc. This shows that you’re willing to take the responsibility for making it happen and you’re willing to do the work. Phrasing it in this way will help ease the conversation forward.
Want to read the rest of the Top Tips for Handling a micro-manager?
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