One of the biggest demotivators any professional can experience in their career is a micromanaging boss. They’re highly stressful individuals who misrepresent their stress and anxiety as intensity and passion. They confuse distrust and insecurity with perfectionism and obsession with details. And more often than not they are very inexperienced and fearful of failure. Defying them can be detrimental to your own success, no matter how annoying and frustrating they are. Therefore it’s best to strategically outmaneuver them. Here are 5 ways to neutralize micromanagers:
- Establish Constant Communication. Micromanagers are often consumed with anxiety about what’s happening or what’s not happening. It’s best to keep them well informed so that their level of anxiety is kept to a minimum. Provide updates to them frequently and ask them loads of clarifying questions when they make requests or inquiries.
- Become a Master of Anticipation. It’s much better to anticipate requests than to be caught off-guard. Micromanagers tend to frequently change their minds about what they’re asking you for, repeatedly changing details of the requests as you progress through them. Do them and yourself a favor and anticipate any potential issues or change requests on the first ask. That way you can establish alternative deliverables ahead of time. Mastering anticipation may also earn you more of the micromanagers trust, which should result in them falling back a bit and allowing you some space to operate.
- Collect Evidence of Your Productivity. Using apps such as TOGGL you can track how you spend your time, broken down by project, task, and subtask. This can serve as proof that you’re highly productive without the constant peering over the shoulder. You could also volunteer to share your productivity reports weekly or even daily with your micromanaging spaz of a boss. This should help put them somewhat at ease and allow you a bit more breathing room for creativity and general independent thought.
- Be Direct and Confront the Issue Tactfully. When making a few compromises isn’t effective enough to neutralize the situation, then it’s time to take the direct approach of confronting the issue, tactfully of course. Let your boss know that you feel stifled and untrusted. Share with them again your work history and impact, dispelling the need for micromanaging you as a professional. If they’re not understanding of your position, and decide that it’s their way or the highway, then move on to number five below.
- Fire Them. That’s right, fire your micromanaging boss by resigning and moving on into a more suitable company culture. No experienced professional wants to be badgered or berated all day, especially for miscellaneous things. If you’ve proven your ability to be productive and successful, then you’ve earned some level of trust and independence. Don’t let your ingenuity and creativity be limited by the likes of micromanagers – just keep it moving in a positive way. Onward and upward.