Managing your Micromanaging boss
the ones that just won't let go!
***The principles of managing up series- Often people think about “management” as a manager managing their reports, but sometimes, your boss needs to be managed too. This series will cover distinct topics as it relates to how to manage your boss.
They watch your every move. Basically, they have trust issues. If you work better independently, this type of boss is really annoying and can inhibit your creativity. But don’t fret, there is hope.
This boss often feels like they are the ones that can do things correctly. I would know because I personally fall into this category. I am a micromanager... there I said it! Feels good to get it off my chest!
Taking this into account, here are some suggestions as to how you can get your boss to stop micromanaging you.
1. Show them that you can do the work THEIR WAY. It's likely that this boss is very meticulous and particular. They have a way that they like things to be done, call it a “system”, if you will. When you are working on projects ask your boss exactly how they like things to be done, to the T.
2. DO it THEIR WAY. Now that you know exactly how your boss likes things to be done. When you get a new project, tell your boss that you would like to try for yourself first. After you complete this task, go back to them and double check that it's the way they like it. When they tell you yes, just continue to duplicate this model. Don't change a thing. This is exactly how they want it.
3. Check BEFORE changing - You might want to change a few things or adapt the “system”. Talk to your boss about it first before you implement these changes. They will appreciate your suggestions and may include them. However, what they will appreciate the most is that you checked with them before for you implemented any changes.
4. Care about the work- Show your boss that you care about the work just as much as they do. This is demonstrated through the accuracy of your work. Again, your boss is micromanaging because they are probably a perfectionist and want tasks to be completed in a certain way. The type of person that does this actually cares about how things are done. As such, if you can show your boss that you can do things correctly, in their mind that translates into you caring about the work. Twisted… I know.
5. Details - Details - Details - Do the work well! This boss is likely all about the details. Make sure everything is completed well, use spellcheck, work on the formatting, etc. When a boss like this sees mistakes, they start to doubt your abilities or they might think you can do the work well, but you don't care enough to do it well. Execute the work well a few times and this boss will start to take a step back. They will start checking in once in a while instead of every hour on the hour. Why? Because they know you know how to do the work THEIR way accurately.
6. Update - After doing all of these things your boss still may be more interested in having an update. Remember this is someone who practically wants to do the work his or her self all the time. Make sure to keep your boss in the loop. You can provide updates with the project along the way. As you continue to follow up with them, they will stop following up with you because they know that you will check in with them. These updates make them feel comfortable and informed.
If you do all of these things and you will build credibility with your boss quickly and they will stop following you around the office and checking your every move.
(The principles of managing up series) - Often people think about “management” as a manager managing their reports, but sometimes, your boss needs to be managed too. This series will cover distinct topics as it relates to how to manage your boss.