You get to work and your boss glares at you from within his office. You look down at your watch and realize it is 8:01. The glare stems from the fact that you are late, an entire minute late, sixty whole seconds. Sound far-fetched? Not really. Despite the advancements in management techniques, there still exist some managers who believe in the fine and intimidating art of micromanagement. How do you know whether or not you have a micromanager? Some characteristics of a micromanager include a manager who questions your every move, watches you like a hawk to make sure you get in at exactly the right time every single day, attends any and every meeting that anybody on his/her team attends (even if it has nothing to do with him), takes credit for all work on his/her team and, in general, makes your work routine a nightmare. Short of taking anti-anxiety pills, how should one deal with a micromanager?
Do not doubt that a micromanager will take credit for all work that your team creates or throw the blame for a mistake he/she made towards the team, so keep very detailed notes of your daily activity. Sure, this may sound like a hassle, but, if your work decisions are ever questioned or argued, you can refer back to your documentation to settle the dispute. For example, say your boss asks you to make a major change in the account of one of your clients. Be certain that you keep notes on this change and note the time and date and reason for the change. Four weeks pass and the client is irate because of the change and your boss turns to you asking for the explanation. Without batting an eye, you can point to your well-documented notes and put your micromanager in his/her place. Your micromanager will think twice before pointing the finger at you again.
Look around and see how your boss is managing her entire team. If she seems to be singling you out to be a micromanager to, take a good and long look at your work ethics. Are you the least productive member of your team? Are you distracted often and, thus, affecting your efficiency and accuracy? Does your boss find you talking all day long? If so, your boss may have a good reason for singling you out. She doesn’t trust you yet to produce the work you were hired to produce. Focus on your job and rid yourself of those things that distract you at work. You may soon see that she starts to back off on her micromanagement.
If your boss is a devout micromanager, understand that he will probably never change. This may be the way he has always managed, so you will be hard-pressed to get him to convert his ways. If you have a micromanager, understand how he works. If he is a stickler for his employees arriving on time, be sure to arrive on time. If you are late one day due to weather or traffic, make sure you call him to alert him of this. If your boss likes keeping abreast of all projects and frequently stops by your desk for updates, let him know that you will begin to send him e-mail updates of the projects and accounts you are working on, so he can review them periodically. It will work much better for you to work with his management style than to fight him every step of the way.
Maybe your boss’s micromanagement is getting out of hand and you are getting reprimanded for coming back from your break a minute late. Set up a meeting and confront your boss about your feelings. Let her know that you are finding it difficult to work in an environment where you are watched like a child when all you want to do is work like a professional. She may be impressed with your candor, and may not have noticed how much her management style was affecting you. If she still insists on treating you as a child, speak to her manager or the human resources department.
If all else fails and you see no light at the end of the tunnel, move on. Start seeking new job opportunities or other departments within your own company to see if a transfer to new management may be possible.If all else fails