Career Woman

6 things to do if you are being micromanaged


You know that feeling of being watched or that someone is breathing down your neck? Well, that’s what a micromanager does. They hover over your shoulder, ask if your work is done, and even watch you to make sure you’ve done it— correctly!

It’s irritating, it’s counterproductive, and it can lead to you hating what might have been a fantastic role.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to put a stop to it and build a better relationship with your boss.

Be sure you are clear on the expectations

All bosses and workplaces have an expectation of, or standard for, their employees and for the work they produce to be of good quality. So it’s important you know what those expectations are and live up to them.

Over time, this could be the trick to avoid being micromanaged by your boss, as they will see they don’t need to this with you often, if at all.

Anticipate what they want—and act

If you’ve noticed your boss tends to micromanage, you can develop a sense of what sets this off in them, e.g. when working on a big project or when it’s something that is their ‘pet’ project.

Then, you’ll be able to anticipate when they will do this to you or others and get one step ahead of them.

Provide updates proactively

Again, if you’ve noticed your boss is a micromanager and requires an update from you on your work more often than reasonable, you can get one step ahead of them by doing this proactively, instead of waiting for them to ask you.

What might help is dividing your work up into sections and sending it through to them as you go.

Find the source

To do this, don’t confront them about why they ‘micromanage’— instead, ask them subtle questions about how they became a manger, what they expect of employees, how other employees have responded to them as managers, and so on.

This will help give you an idea, if not tell you exactly, why they micromanage and allow you to ask if you can take things off their plate.

Ask yourself if you’re not meeting expectations

There’s always a reason for why someone does the things they do and a micromanager is no different.

If your manager expresses frustration with you and your work, rather than standing over your shoulder and watching everything you do, then you might need to ask yourself why. Or even ask them.

But in doing this, try not to take the answer too personally because, at the end of the day, your boss wants you to improve your skills, knowledge, and abilities at work.

Call him on it—but use tactful words

If worst comes to worst and you get absolutely fed up with your boss micromanaging you, don’t let your emotions get the better of you.

Instead, talk to your colleagues who also work under this boss, then go to your boss and ask if you can could have a word with them about the issue at hand in a calm professional manner.

It also won’t help to get HR involved unless you feel it’s moved into the category of bullying. If it’s just micromanaging, HR will simply see it as the boss ensuring work standards (even if they privately agree that micromanaging is hard to deal with).

About Rowena Nagy

Rowena Nagy is a Journalist at The Business Woman Media. A graduate in Journalism, Media and Communications, she is passionate about in writing, travel journalism, video journalism and Public Relations.

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