Managers tend to manage. That comes with the job description. Unfortunately, some methods of management involve keeping meticulous tabs on every employee, their exact methods, and locations. This type of overbearing supervision can be tiring and detrimental to productivity. Micromanaging is often rooted from a fear of not being in control and wanting to succeed, so the best way to avoid this annoying tactic some managers use is to be direct, diligent, and patient.
1. Keep the Line of Communication Open
Micromanaging employees stems from a need for the manager to feel in control and on top of every facet of their supervisory downline. In order to limit the manager’s need for information, offer it first. A good employee keeps the channel of communication open and relays information before the manager has a chance to ask questions. Stating what you’re going to do is great, but leaves room for meticulous managers to ask more questions. Counter this by offering what is happening and immediately asking a question.
2. Phrase Your Sentences and Play Along
Putting the manager in the position to answer a question forces them to be a manager and less of an investigator.
For example: “I’m going to the hardware store, I’ll be back in twenty minutes,” is a good way to remain direct with your supervisor but leaves room for them to question why you’re going, where exactly you’re going, what you plan to get, and who you’re going with.
Instead, try: “I’m going to the hardware store, I’ll be back in twenty minutes. In addition to the plywood we need, what else should I get?” This puts the manager on the spot to come up with an executive answer, making them feel more at ease with the situation.
3. Be Ready and Willing, Do a Good Job
Other than being direct, being capable and diligent are paramount. Managers tend to relax when they can rely on workers. While it may seem incessant and ridiculous to have someone question and nitpick every bit at work, being a competent worker reduces management stress. By consistently doing a good job and remaining open to communicate, the manager has to make a choice on who to observe. As much as it can sometimes feel they are all-seeing, a manager does have to pinpoint who and where they’re going to obsess. Being diligent in work allows the manager to focus on other details that truly need all their attention.
4. Don’t Forget Deadlines and Follow Through
Maintaining your work and projects shows your boss that you can do your job with or without supervision. Remain on time, and finish projects according to specifications. Micromanaging bosses will sometimes overtly focus on work because they’re afraid their employees can’t. Prove the boss wrong by being proactive and hardworking.
Overall, patience is the one key trait to dealing with micromanagers. Understand that this is how they think managing is successful. While it is annoying to have every choice and decision scrutinized, simply being patient and taking a quick breath can be a lifesaver. Exit the situation gracefully, take a quick breath, and focus back on the good work you’re doing. Remain optimistic and open with your communication and over time that micromanaging manager will manage to focus on someone and something else.