How to deal with a micromanager

how to deal with a micromanagerI’m sure most of you micro manage yourself at times, I know I do but being micro managed in your job is sheer hell. You can’t do anything your way, can’t even get up and go to the rest room without an explanation and it clearly prohibits creativity and productivity in a work environment. Some may call these managers control freaks and sadly that is a trait that is very hard to get rid of. I’m not suggesting you suck up to them but it does take a few tricks to get them off your case and try and get yourself some space to save your sanity.

Tips on how to deal with a micromanager

A simple article could never solve all your problems and there are a million different kinds of micromanagers too but maybe these tips can give you a little help or get you thinking how to deal with your specific situation.

Move your working hours - One of the simplest ways to deal with a micromanager is to not be around them. If there is anyway you can go above their head and amend your working hours an hour or two in either direction this may give you the space you need to breath and get their work done in half the time without them halting the process.

Find out what they want - Although micromanagers are not all meaning to be bullies they often have some kind of complex much like bullies. Maybe they fear they may lose their job if they don’t appear to be single handedly holding the company up, maybe they genuinely believe the cards will fall if they don’t keep an eye on them. Whatever it is working out the issue could help you to adjust your habits to work with their micro forces rather than against them making life a whole lot easier for you.

Ignore them and do the tasks your way - If you can get the job done that they want then simply agreeing with their instructions and then ignoring what they said, ignoring emails, phone calls etc until the task is done may help you show that they don’t have to watch you like a baby. It may infuriate them too but it’s hard for them to take action if the job has been done to a satisfactory level.

Get to know their superior - Most micromanagers are not at the very top of the ladder so it helps to get buddy buddy with the person who sits above them. This may seem scheming but they may well back off when they see you are not afraid to climb above them.

Deliver things early – I know this is easy for me to say but often the stress of being micro managed slows down your work as much as the interruptions. Take a deep breath and look at it from an overall standpoint then just buckle down and get the jobs done early as often as you can. Don’t accept extra tasks and if you have to pretend you are still busy with the actual task at hand and hand it in just shortly before deadline. Hopefully you can grab a little breathing space here and relieve the stress even more.

I find I cope with these kinds of situations by just laughing at them. People who need to try and be so on others case all the time are just crazy and by third personing myself from the situation I find it greatly reduces stress and I can just get my job done. Let them go crazy micromanaging and remember it doesn’t matter at the end of the day.

I would love to hear from you and any tips you have regarding how to deal with a micromanager.

7 thoughts on “How to deal with a micromanager”

  1. Hahaha, nice post, Forest.

    “Move your working hours” — not useful if they expect you to be in at a certain time and they work long hours. ;)

    “Find out what they want” — What you said is often what motivates them.

    “Ignore them and do the tasks your way” — I don’t recommend this unless you are looking for problems. If you two can’t work together, escalate and change teams.

    “Get to know their superior” — Yes, but it should not be done in a sneaky way. Be open in your communications with both.

    “Deliver things early” — Haha, yeah, I agree with what you said here. If both are stubborn there will be conflict, so better that you deliver what is needed, bend where it doesn’t harm the cause, and if things are really that bad then escalate and/or look to change teams.
    Invest It Wisely recently posted..The Skinny on Credit Cards- A Book ReviewMy Profile

    1. Ha ha, guess you don’t really agree with my ideas then!!! I’ll try and explain my side a little more.

      I kind of see it in a way that they only way to work round them without any issues to do do everything they want, that is a little depressing so you have to rock the boat and make some waves if you want to see any changes.

      Going above their head should always be done out in the open. Not to humiliate them but to show them you won’t stand for their crap basically.

      I really think the best option in these situations is as you said change teams or find a new job but that isn’t so easy these days and I bet the nastier of the micromanagers thrive on knowing this! Most micromangers are mearly a little insecure and not necc nasty to the core.

  2. “Ha ha, guess you don’t really agree with my ideas then!!!”

    Really? I thought we were in agreement except for the “Ignore them and do the tasks your way”, which I think can lead to problems. :)

    You’re right in that if they are being unreasonable and hurting the cause, you should make this known (in an open way) and discuss openly how you can improve things. You can’t just do things your own way because that just reflects badly on you for being insubordinate. There is, however, a good way to do it without just having to take the crap, and you’re right about that. Sometimes it can be like walking on a tightrope, though. :)
    Invest It Wisely recently posted..The Skinny on Credit Cards- A Book ReviewMy Profile

    1. Oh sorry, being a dumb Brit read the Good Article bit as sarcasm :(

      Thanks for great input as always :). I have not been spreading my articles much via twitter or anything so nice to get some cool comments.


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