The Micro-manager

I don’t know anyone who likes to be micro-managed. It’s not easy to change someone who is a micro-manager and unfortunately, more often than not, you will not be able to. So how do you handle a manager who is monitoring every detail of your work?

1. Talk to your manager. Do not use the accusatory “you”; instead, keep the conversation focused on yourself. For example, “I’m looking to take on more responsibility to learn to manage and grow my projects. Can we discuss if that’s possible and how we could work together to make it happen?”

2. Put the ball in their court. In the example above, you are inviting the manager to provide a solution, which makes him/her feel as if they’re the originator of the idea and a trusted, empowered manager. Using the word "together" also shows you appreciate his/her counsel and like to work with the manager as a team. 

3. Demonstrate continued trustworthiness to the manager. Agree in your meeting to provide a daily or weekly progress report (either a formal meeting or written report) so that he/she knows you are to be trusted. Follow through with this agreement to keep the manager well-informed and happy.

While I can’t promise this will stop the micro-manager from driving you mad, I hope it alleviates some of your frustration. If there is no improvement, it may be time to think about finding a new manager in your current organization (if possible) or even a new job.