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How to Deal With a Micromanaging Boss

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At some point in life, you’re going to be micromanaged, and it’s going to drive you crazy. Chances are your mom micromanaged you the majority of your life. However, it also happens at work and that’s an entirely different minefield to navigate. You can tell your mom to give you some much-deserved freedom, but having “the talk” with your boss can be a bit trickier.

If your boss is micromanaging you and you’re starting to feel fissures from the pressure, follow this map to make it through without any blow-ups.

Just Breathe

You don’t want to go off on your boss. It’s understandable to be annoyed when being micromanaged, but snapping won’t solve the problem. The last thing you want is to let your temper get the best of you and ruin your working relationship—or cost you your job. So bite your tongue, take a deep breath, and mentally take a step back.

You need to consider all of the possible reasons your boss could be micromanaging you. This allows you to determine the best way to handle the situation. Some possible reasons could be:

  • Your boss is being pressured by her boss to get results, solve a problem, etc.
  • Something stressful is going on in your boss’s personal life and obsessing over you is how she’s escaping it.
  • It’s the end of the quarter. This is when everyone is pushing to meet or exceed expectations.

Remember that almost any stressful thing within the company could cause your boss to micromanage you. Most of the time this won’t be due to something you have or haven’t done, and frequently it’s just an unfortunate personality trait for those in leadership roles.

Double-Check Your Work

You’re human. It’s natural to feel like you didn’t do anything wrong, but sometimes you’re wrong in that assumption. So double-check your work before you go all territorial rhino over a hovering boss. Did you leave out an important part of a report? Did you forget to respond to an important email?

You’re not perfect, so a slip-up can cause a boss to start micromanaging. If this is the case, then you just have to suck it up and deal with it. Go over your own work with a fine touch comb to silently prove you don’t make mistakes all the time and your boss will stop breathing down your neck.

Learn the Difference Between a Concerned Boss and an Unjust One

Your boss isn’t trying to piss you off. She’s trying to make sure all of the P’s and Q’s are handled so the entire team reflects well. The office is an interconnected network. If one person isn’t doing their job properly, it throws everyone for a loop. It’s your boss’s job to make sure each person is doing the job properly. However, if you’re being unjustly and rudely micromanaged, you should consider speaking to HR about it.

If you decide to go to HR, then you need to have very specific examples of unacceptable misconduct from your boss and you need to be prepared for the potential backlash.

Make Your Choice:

  • Take one for the team.
    And suck it up until your boss chills out. This won’t immediately solve anything, but it’s usually the easiest way to handle the situation, especially if the micromanaging is due to external factors. No one has time to babysit employees forever, so eventually your boss will loosen the reins a little bit and you can back to sitting comfortably at your desk.
  • Work ahead of your boss.
    By this, I mean thinking of absolutely everything before submitting anything to your boss. Get all of the work done and then some so she’ll literally have nothing to micromanage. This also reflects well on you. It shows you’re capable of being responsible and thinking ahead of the game. Frankly, this is the best way to put an end to micromanaging because there’s no conflict and it makes you a better employee in the long run.
  • Say something.
    You shouldn’t do this unless the micromanaging has reached such a pitch that the stress is harming your work performance. You should never feel bullied or mistreated at work, and if the micromanaging is making you feel that way, then it’s time to speak up. Remember though, you want to find a solution, not create a bigger problem.

If you’re being micromanaged, don’t forget that all things end at some point. Your boss won’t micromanage you forever. At some point, it will all come to a ceasefire. As long you keep your cool, handle interactions in a mature and professional manner, and continue to do work as expected, you’ll survive this bumpy time.

Follow Terra on Instagram: @terrabrown3

Last modified on January 6th, 2017

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