How To Deal with a Micromanager

As a worker and a manager, one of the most frustrating positions to be in us to have someone constantly hovering over your shoulder. They may nitpick your methodology or assignments, delivering criticism that isn’t always constructive (or solicited).

Is there someone on your team, whether it’s a colleague or your supervisor, who fits this description? They may be a micromanager, one of the most prevalent and dreaded office stereotypes.

Dealing with a micromanager is often a baffling experience. You were hired for your expertise, so doesn’t it make sense to let you do your thing with interference?

Unfortunately, there seems to be at least one micromanager in every office environment. If you happen to have one on your team, here’s a few tips to get you through it and get that monkey off your back.

Are You Being Targeted?

One of the first steps in dealing with a troublesome team member is to do some reconnaissance. Getting to the heart of why someone is behaving in such a way can also help uncover some potential solutions.

Are you the only one who is being micromanaged? Is the person also nitpicking other colleagues or employees as well? Or are they simply targeting you and your work?

Answering this question can help weed out whether their behaviour could be unintentional (yes, some people don’t even realize they’re micromanaging). A boss who nitpicks their entire team may not have received proper training and support when developing their people management skills.

Or, if you’re the only person on the receiving end of the constant criticism, you may need to dig a bit deeper to discover the cause. Perhaps the previous employee in your position did something to hurt your boss’ career and they’re attempting to prevent the same thing from happening again.

Be Proactive

One of the easiest ways to establish a more positive working relationship with a micromanaging boss in particular is to learn their management style and try to adapt and work around it.

For example, if you know your supervisor regularly prods you for progress reports on your projects, stop waiting around — provide those updates before they can even ask for them. Anticipating your boss’ needs can make all the difference when working to build a foundation of trust and respect.

Schedule A Meeting to Set Goals and Boundaries

Another part of being proactive in building a better relationship with your nitpicking manager or colleague is to try scheduling a meeting to talk about expectations. This is a fantastic opportunity for the micromanager to air their concerns and/or grievances with you, and for you to establish regular check-ins and updates that better match your own timetable.

Getting on the same page when it comes to expectations can help the two of you come together and agree on a set of practices that help you both work better in a mutually beneficial way.