How To Deal With A Micromanaging Boss

Micromanagement is a leadership style nearly all employees dread. But complaints about the practice persist, which means the offending managers don’t realize this is how their team perceives them.

We’re going to take a look at the traits of a micromanaging boss and see what workers can do to correct it. And we’ll also provide some advice for the managers who realize they have this leadership style and want to improve.


According to surveys, more than half of employees have worked for a micromanaging boss1) Resists Delegating Work

Micromanagers often believe no one can do a job as well as they can. So they try to do everything themselves and second-guess the decisions their colleagues make.

What the micromanaged worker can do. Insist on having one-on-one meetings with your manager where you both hash out what each of you can do to meet goals. Then, if a manager interferes with how you complete your assigned tasks, don’t be afraid to challenge her. Remind her of what you discussed in your meetings, and what you both agreed to as far as how delegated tasks should be handled.

What micromanagers can do. According to consultant and marketing strategist Gaurav Bhalla, the solution is the 95-95 rule. If you accept 95% of perfect performance, 95% of the time, you will micromanage 95% less.



According to surveys, more than half of employees have worked for a micromanaging boss2) Discourages Others From Making Decisions

As discussed above, many micromanagers secretly worry about losing control. Leaders with this management style discourage their team members from making any decisions on their own.

What the micromanaged worker can do. Your best strategy is to wow your boss to the point where they feel more comfortable taking a hands-off approach. So do your best to be a stellar performer.

Think about your boss’ priorities and make sure to get them done ahead of time. Also, document your work so you can point to your progress when asked. And if your boss does ever give you a chance to work independently, make sure to show your appreciation for these opportunities.

All of these strategies will demonstrate to your micromanaging boss that you have your work well in hand, and your boss’ best interests at heart.

What micromanagers can do. Ask yourself why you don’t trust your teammates to make decisions on their own. Then answer honestly. Is it because you fear giving up control? If so, then set goals with your employees and come up with metrics to monitor them. Then let them get to work.

However, if you micromanage because an employee is incapable of doing quality work without close supervision, then you should replace that employee.

According to surveys, more than half of employees have worked for a micromanaging boss


3) Is The Busiest Person At Work

A boss who feels incapable of delegating work or letting her team members make decisions on their own is a boss who’s overworked. A micromanaging boss often is so busy trying to do everyone’s job that her own work begins to suffer.

What the micromanaged worker can do. Communication is key. Assure your manager that you will check in to let her know how your work is going. And remind her that delegating certain decisions to others will free her up to handle whatever she really needs to be focusing on.

What micromanagers can do. Write down your own job description, then write down the job description of your team members. Use these lists to remind yourself what you should spend most of your time focusing on during the work day.



Sources: Leadership Thoughts, Forbes, Gaurav Bhalla, Reader’s Digest, Inc., Washington Post






“Helping our clients get jobs done since 1998.”