Audio Version (7:13)
In last week’s article, I wrote about ‘5 Reasons Why Managers Micro-Manage‘. Working under a micro-manager can be challenging and frustrating. The constant scrutiny, lack of autonomy, and the feeling of being under a microscope can hinder creativity, demoralise employees, and hinder productivity.
However, it is essential to remember that there are ways to cope with this situation effectively.
In this week’s post, as promised, I will explore some strategies to deal with a micro-managing manager and foster a more productive and harmonious work environment.
1. Understand Their Perspective
Before jumping to conclusions, it is important to try to understand the reasons behind your manager’s micro-management tendencies.
Some managers may feel the need to control every aspect of their team’s work due to their own insecurities, past negative experiences, or pressure from upper management.
To understand more on this topic, read/listen to my previous article, ‘5 Reasons Why Managers Micro-manage’.
By empathising with their perspective, you can approach the situation with more compassion and patience.
It’s important to point out that although someone’s need to micro-manage you can feel very personal, it’s rarely about you. It’s typically about their need to feel in control.
2. Build Trust and Open Communication
Establishing trust is crucial when dealing with a micro-managing manager. Proactively communicate your progress, milestones, and plans to keep them in the loop.
Schedule regular check-ins to provide updates on your projects and seek their input. By being transparent, you can help alleviate their concerns and gradually earn their trust.
3. Clarify Expectations
One reason managers tend to micro-manage is their desire for things to be done a certain way. To reduce their need for constant oversight, make sure you have a clear understanding of their expectations.
Discuss and document specific objectives, timelines, and desired outcomes. You create a foundation for more autonomy and decision-making power by aligning your goals with theirs.
4. Demonstrate Competence and Reliability
Take the initiative and demonstrate your competence and reliability in executing your tasks.
By consistently delivering high-quality work and meeting deadlines, you can build credibility with your manager. This, in turn, can instil confidence in their ability to trust you with more autonomy and reduce their need for constant supervision.
5. Proactively Seek Feedback
Instead of waiting for your manager’s input, take the initiative to seek feedback on your work. Requesting feedback not only shows your commitment to improvement but also gives you an opportunity to address any concerns they may have.
By taking this proactive approach, you may find that your manager’s need to micro-manage diminishes as they recognise your willingness to learn and grow.
6. Offer Solutions and Suggestions
If you identify areas where you believe your manager’s involvement could be reduced, proactively offer solutions and suggestions. Present your ideas respectfully and constructively, highlighting how they can benefit you and the team.
By taking an active role in problem-solving, you may help your manager realise you can be trusted with more autonomy.
7. Foster an Open Dialogue
Create an environment where open dialogue and feedback are encouraged. During team meetings or one-on-one conversations, share your thoughts on the team’s processes, workflow, and communication.
Encourage your colleagues to contribute their ideas as well. By fostering a culture of collaboration, you may help your manager recognise the value of a more hands-off approach.
8. Seek Support from Colleagues and Mentors
Talking to colleagues who have experienced similar situations can provide valuable insights and support. They may offer suggestions on how they dealt with a micro-managing manager or share their perspective on the situation.
Additionally, if you have a mentor or a trusted senior colleague, seek their guidance and advice on navigating the challenges posed by your manager’s management style.
If things don’t improve, if it begins to affect your mental health, or if you feel uncomfortable or even bullied, you must take action sooner rather than later. I recommend raising the issue with another manager or your company’s HR department for support and advice.
If that’s a step you decide to take, I advise having evidence, e.g. diary notes, emails, texts, witnesses, etc., to support your claims. As a qualified HR professional, I know that acting without substantiation is often difficult.
Working with a micro-manager can be a frustrating experience, but it’s important to approach the situation with patience, empathy, and proactive communication.
You can gradually create a more autonomous work environment by understanding their perspective, building trust, and demonstrating your competence.
Remember, by fostering open dialogue and seeking support from colleagues, you can navigate the challenges and focus on personal growth and professional success.
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If you would like help to overcome your urge to micro-manage or would like support in dealing with a micro-manager, please get in touch with me at email@example.com for a complimentary 15-minute discovery call.
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