Is your boss constantly breathing down your neck? Learn about the signs of micromanagement and 4 steps to effectively handle a micromanaging boss here.
Do you feel like you’re constantly being watched? Like you can’t do anything without your boss hovering over you and checking, correcting, or even criticizing your work? You may be dealing with a case of micromanagement. According to Encarta, micromanagement is defined as “attention to small details in management” and “control of a person or situation by paying extreme attention to small details.” But how do you know for sure that you’re being micromanaged?
Signs of Micromanagement
Micromanagement can arise anywhere, whether you work in a wide-open space, such as a construction site or warehouse, or a modular, prefabricated office.
1. Revolving door
Have you noticed that your department has a higher than normal turnover rate? Are people resigning nearly as quickly as people are getting hired? This may be a warning sign of micromanagement in play.
Do you and/or your coworkers actively avoid your manager? If so, ask yourself why. Does your manager frequently seem unfocused and stressed? Bosses who micromanage tend to bog themselves down in small-picture scenarios and don’t provide clearly defined goals or objectives for their departments. Mismanaged schedules can make every day a chaotic free-for-all, which creates and sustains your manager’s stress.
Does your manager have their hands in the input and output of information from your department? Micromanagers have a need to control the environment, and one of the best ways to do this is to control the flow of information.
I’m Being Micromanaged – What Do I Do?
As best you can, stay calm. While you may feel like you’ve lost your freedom and at times your sanity, here are a few pieces of advice to help you keep your head when you’re being micromanaged.
- Familiarize yourself with your boss’s expectations. If you know what your boss is looking for and can prove to them that you’re “on the right track,” they’re less likely to feel the need to helicopter.
- Find out what causes your boss to micromanage. Once you know what causes them to tick, you can more effectively navigate micromanagement without taking it personally.
- Slowly improve your credibility and build trust with your manager. This may be just the thing your manager needs to breathe easier and give you more independence.
- Have a conversation. If you’ve endured all the micromanagement that you can handle, calmly and respectfully ask your boss to have a conversation with you. Raise your concerns with professionalism and poise. From here, you and your boss can work on ways to build trust and independence together. Involving HR won’t necessarily be helpful unless you feel that your boss’s micromanaging has moved into bullying.
If you do find yourself in a micromanaged role, all hope isn’t lost. Building trust and regaining your independence is possible with a little wisdom, the right attitude, and a small dose of courage.