How to Manage Your Micromanager and Survive

Micromanagers have to be in control of everything all the time, even the tiniest mundane details — not exactly a great quality in a boss. While it is not pleasant for you, the worker, to feel that you have no autonomy, micromanagers are usually pretty stressed out themselves, either because they are under a lot of pressure from above or because they simply don’t know how to delegate responsibility. You can, however, develop some working habits that will make your micromanager proud, and potentially cause him to loosen his grip.

(Photo Credit: Rhys A./Flickr)

1. Confirm Communication Styles

Accommodate your manager’s needs regarding communication. You may love email, but he may prefer his cellphone. If you are sending him emails and he is not reading them, you’ll be surprised when he starts questioning you. He, on the other hand, will be wondering why you never update him with a call.

He is the boss, so you should respect what he needs from you: a call. If you are unsure, it is appropriate to ask, “how would you like to be updated or informed?” Answers may run the gamut from drop into his office, send a memo or an email, give a quick call, or something else. Then, make sure you do communicate so your boss knows he is in the loop. This may alleviate some of his need to micromanage.

2. Ask Questions

When you ask questions, you show you are thinking about your work and want to do it well. Asking appropriate questions may not only bolster your manager’s confidence in you, but also gives him additional opportunity to offer direction.

Ask for your boss’s input and feedback. Knowing you are open and not resistant to his way of doing things may increases his trust in you.

3. Be Supportive and Reliable

Your manager might feel micromanaged from above. If he knows you are reliable and willing to support his business, he will likely appreciate your work and contribution. Being supportive and reliable for a micromanager can turn what feels overbearing into a good working relationship.

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