Steps to Deal with a Micro-Manager

You just finished that work assignment you were handed and you feel pretty good about yourself as you get ready to turn it in. You look at all the little people around you struggling to play catch-up. Sure, you know your supervisor is an unrepentant micro-manager but you know  you just did good work in the quickest time possible. The only thing you deserve is a commendation for a job well done. But do you want to risk it? If you are now wondering whether you can really survive the scrutiny of your micro-manager, consider the following:


  • 1

    Do you understand your particular micro-manager?

    Whether it is your work supervisor, a friend you are working to plan a wedding with or a spouse you are remodeling the kitchen with, you need to understand your micro-manager.

    - What are they trying to accomplish?

    - How do they want to accomplish it?

    - Does their micro-managing become worse when they do not have enough information to make a    decision?

    - Do they worry about your competence?

    These are just a few examples of the positive analysis you should consider to help you get along with your micro-manager. Find out the answers to these questions and you can develop an understanding of why you are being micro-managed. Most people think micro-managers are simply sadists who enjoy irritating those around them. Find out what drives them to anticipate their move.

  • 2

    Do you clearly understand what is expected from you

    Most micro-managers have a tendency to give vague instructions knowing that they will later change their earlier comments, while you boil inside. Do not give them the satisfaction. Press them for vital details to make it easier for you to carry out the task. By forcing them to communicate what exactly it is they want, your life will be so much better. Never assume to know that a micro-manager wants, ask them and ask them again if need be.

  • 3

    Have you kept an open communication line

    Always maintain clean communication lines with your micro-manager. Whether it is used to maintain a healthy feedback system or to communicate your frustrations at being continuously micro-managed, you need to feel comfortable when conversing with your micro-manager.

  • 4

    Have you earned their trust

    You need to be able prove your competence if you hope to reduce the instances of micro-management. This means you should earn their trust by proving that you can handle the job they assigned to you. Now some will still attempt to meddle with your work but over time you can be sure that they will tire of it. If they keep spotting mistakes in your work, you cannot realistically expect them to ease off.

  • 5

    Differentiate between “positive” and “negative” micro-management

    Positive micro management can be described as a difficult learning process where you are constantly shown how to do something, it does not matter that you like the person or not. What matters is that you are being taught something valuable.

    Negative micro management is meant to ridicule, bully and breakdown your self-confidence. Being able to differentiate between the two is very important. If you mistake positive micro management for negative micromanagement, you could miss out on valuable learning experiences.

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