A bit of advice on how to manage a micromanager boss
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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I was recently asked the following question: "What do you do if you like your job but your boss is a micromanager who doesn’t have a clue how to manage projects, and his boss put him in that position due to nepotism?" — Carlos F., project coordinator
Here's my response:
Micromanagement is about lack of trust. The person who is micromanaging doesn’t believe anyone can do something as well as he or she can. Once you understand this, you’ll be better able to manage a micromanaging boss.
First, make sure you keep your commitments. If you tell your boss you’ll complete a task by a certain date and time, make sure you do so. If you can’t, alert your boss to this before the deadline approaches.
Next, have a conversation with your boss and remind him of your experience bringing projects to completion and ask what concerns, if any, he has regarding your ability to do your job. Let him know you’re feeling a bit overmanaged. Be prepared to present him with concrete examples of why you feel this way.
See if you can come to agreement about how to best move forward. When dealing with micromanagers, it’s best to give them choices so they feel in control. For example, you might say, "Bob, how about if we meet weekly and I can give you an update on the project. How’s Monday mornings or Friday afternoons?"
Lastly, I’ve found that people act based on emotion and do what’s in their best interest. Perhaps your boss has mentioned on occasion that he’s disappointed he can’t leave work on time to get to his daughter’s soccer game or he’s unable to do more strategical work because he’s so busy taking care of the day-to-day. You can give him a gentle reminder that he’ll be able to do those things by providing you with a longer leash.
If you try this and nothing changes, then you’ll either need to leave the company or marry a relative of the owner so you can be promoted above your boss!
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