Dealing with Micro Managers

Lauren Krause
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If your boss is a fierce micro manager, it can feel frustrating, demeaning and constricting. However, you can ease the discomfort of micromanagement and empower yourself at work. Learning how to handle your boss is essential if you want to thrive in a harmonious work environment without someone dictating your every move.

Anticipate Needs

In order to avoid micromanagement, you should anticipate the needs of your boss before he or she comes to instruct you on the issue. Taking initiative to do what needs to be done before your supervisor asks you reduces the level of attention you receive. Cultivate your daily work schedule in advance if possible, and finish any tasks that you are assigned in a timely manner to avoid examination from a micro manager.

Check Your Work Performance

If you have a history of coming late to work or turning in assignments late, your boss is more likely to micromanage you. Do not worry your boss with less than stellar performance while on the clock when you can put forward genuine effort. Evaluate your work performance and see if there are areas in which you can improve, and work on overcoming weaknesses that can impede progress and annoy your supervisor.

Identify Triggers

When major work projects and imperative assignments emerge, the micro manager becomes anxious. Once you learn to identify when your boss is going to go into super micromanagement mode, you can adjust your work performance to soften anxieties. Be mindful of important company deadlines, quarterly periods and other sensitive time frames that demand work efficiency.

Improve Team Productivity

Micro managers often step in when a team does not fulfill its obligations by company deadlines. If you are a member of a work team, you and your coworkers must learn how to collaborate better so the supervisor does not have to delegate tasks within the team.

See the Micro Manager’s Perspective

A micro manager is often seen as a bad manager by employees who dislike being closely controlled by supervisors, but it is important to develop an understanding attitude. Know that micro managers who attack employees are often under crushing pressure to perform well to meet company goals, but they may not intend to be a bad manager. When you consider your boss may only be responding to pressure, then your perception changes.

Initiate a discussion

Sometimes, a micro manager may be unaware of how their controlling actions affect employees. You can initiate a discussion to share your feelings with your boss and explain how their actions impede your work performance and comfort level in the workplace. Express your thoughts to your micro manager gently without taking a confrontational stance. However, if you feel that your supervisor is treating you unfairly, you can set up a meeting with the human resources department to address the issue.

Dealing with a micro manager can be uncomfortable, but you do not have to let it destroy your peace of mind at work. Maintain a proactive attitude and optimism when interacting with your micro manager to remain effective in the workplace.


(Photo courtesy of jesadaphorn /


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