We’ve all had that one boss that leaves us page-long documents on our desk every morning of things that she wants us to complete. They’ll then constantly check up with our progress throughout the day to make sure that everything is being completed up to their standards. Micromanaging is not only an annoying trait of a boss or a co-worker, but it is also something that can make your everyday life incredibly difficult. Learning how to deal with micromanaging in the workplace is essential to save you from dreading going into work.
1. Eliminating the Need
Instead of trying to fight fire with fire, try to lay out an area where the fire cannot even start. Eliminate every possibility that could lead to someone in your job trying to micromanage your entire day. The first thing that you will want to do is look through the progress that you make on a daily basis to keep track of whether there is any lag in your performance that warrants nitpicking and nagging.
Are you intentionally or unintentionally letting work slip through the cracks? Are you frequently late for work or do you miss deadlines often? If this is the case, you can expect to be micromanaged for a while until these behaviors stop.
2. Know What They Want Before They Do
Another great way to reduce the amount of micromanaging in the workplace is to know what the person wants before they even know it and make sure that it’s done. If you know that there are tasks that they’re going to ask you to complete the next day, make sure that they are finished well before they even have the chance to ask you.
The more that you make sure that their needs are met before they can even ask you, they will be less likely to keep reminding you of things as the days go on. In fact, it will help to increase the amount of trust that your boss and employees have in you.
3. Be Proactive with Updates
The one trait that we all know micromanagers have is to ask for updates as soon as possible. When they know the amount of progress that is being completed on a project, they can feel comfortable that the project will be done. As an important part of their team it is your responsibility to make sure that you stay up-to-date with updates. You won’t want to leave your boss in the dark and force them to come to you often and escalate their micromanaging.
4. Talk to Your Boss
Make sure that you put forth the effort to make sure that your boss knows how you feel. You obviously won’t want to corner them or put them in a difficult situation, but you will obviously want to have them know that their micromanaging is affecting your productivity and happiness. If you do decide to talk to your boss about their habits, make sure that they understand that it’s better for the business if they let you give updates whenever you can, instead of being pushed for them.
It can be uncomfortable to approach this topic with certain bosses or even if you are working for a large corporation, ask your boss if they can let you complete a small project on your own from start to finish and then give a progress report at the end of the task. It’s a great learning opportunity for yourself and for your boss to take a look at your work methods and ethic. Also, if you are able to completely blow your boss away, it’ll look even better.
5. Talk about Projects Beforehand
If you know that there is a big project in the near future, make sure that you go through all of the minute details about it with your boss. Create a step by step plan that you can review with your superiors and get their approval before you start working. Make sure that you include the amount of times that you’ll send progress reports and when they can expect to get updated on the project.
The next step is to make sure that you actually stick to the plan that you developed so they can have that level of trust with you. As an example, if it’s going to take you 4 weeks to complete, make sure that all of the week for week 1 is complete and the progress report is sent on Friday. That way your boss will know when it’s appropriate to micromanage and nitpick every detail in the event that you don’t deliver on time.
Micromanaging is a habit that every boss has to some degree. As an employee it can deter your progress and make it difficult to their standards but by gaining the trust of your boss, you will be able to limit their micromanaging.