SimplySalesTalk: How to manage a micromanager

Jes 0 Comments

I used to work in SMEs and I can understand why the bosses like to micro manage people. They know that their employees are bound to quit sooner or later so they would want to know whatever you do so that they can follow up when time comes. They also want you to do according to their methods because they know that you will never put in as much effort as them.Thus, it leads to micromanagement.

Even bosses in MNC might be prone to micro management. They might feel that they can do better than you so they keep instructing you on what to do even though you have been in this job for more than a few years.
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Micromanagement decreases morale, reduces productivity, instills distrust and prevents candid feedback. One example include the bosses reminding you for updates/reports/results just when you are about to send to them. These are things that you have been submitting without fail before deadlines but yet they chose to give you a to-do list. Another example is when the boss question you in detail why you were late for work, late to return from lunch when you were normally punctual. For sales, it could include the boss questioning where you have been and asking you to account for every minute when you are out of their sight. They want to know that you have been working your asses off for every minute. It's impossible to satisfy them.

I have learnt a few things on how to manage a micromanager so hope these tips can help you:

1) Be proactive
Give them no reason to micro manage. Provide updates regularly and work promptly and efficiently. Anticipate what the bosses want before they even ask for it. This might just earn their trust and stop them from questioning you too much. It's a very nice way of asking them to back off.

2) Be honest
After being at your best behavior for some time, it might be good to politely inform them about it. You could say "I will submit this before the deadline and will not need a reminder." or if you anticipate that you cannot meet the deadline or will be late to work for some reasons, pre-empt their questions by letting them know before hand. This might just earn their respect instead of distrust.

3) Be receptive
Sometimes, they micromange for a reason. Listen to their criticisms and feedback. Be reflective and improve for the good of your own career. They might just give you the best lessons and provide the best guidance. Keep asking for their feedback so that they know you are listening to them and trying your best according to their requests.
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4) Be positive
Give yourself a timeline, for example 6 months. Tell yourself you will try to be on your best behavior and they will back off by then. Your boss might be micromanaging you because you are new to the job or to the industry so they are trying to help you. Think along the lines of, if you can handle this boss, you can handle any boss in the future.

5) Be on the look out
There was one case where only one employee did not perform accordingly and always allow work to snowball. This resulted in the management having to micro manage everyone just so this black sheep would finish up the work. It might not even be your fault but if everything fails, it's time to quit on your boss. After all, it might just be in his character to micro manage when you are already the model employee. Look out for opportunities and turn the crisis around. 


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