How To Deal With A Micromanager

The dreaded micromanager.

We’ve all been under one, but the question is:

How do you deal with it?

Here are 3 ways to counter:

1) Results-focused — Micromanagers care about one thing: getting s**t done. That means “bulldozing” people in order to achieve more. Typically naive to people’s emotions, if under their leadership don’t take things personal. Micromanagers don’t have enough EQ to see the trail of blood left in their path. The way you feel after an encounter with them is how most people will describe an interaction. Focus on surpassing their lofty expectations by doing work. Accomplish that and you’ve earned favor.

2) Mirror — In most cases what you can dish is what you can take. This doesn’t mean treat your boss the same way he/she treats you, but be aware of their preferred style. They model what they expect to see in you. Ultimately you don’t have to copy them as long as you get #1 right (see above). Micromanagers view people as obstacles in their way. Don’t expect praise. No feedback is good feedback in their book.

3) Counterbalance — The first two points explain the makeup of a micromanager, but what you really need to know is how to compliment them. What you do different can make you stand out. For example, if your soft skills are strong you might be asked to put out fires. Micromanagers won’t admit their weaknesses out loud, but they’re aware of them. Position yourself as an ally to their cause and you automatically level up. Strategy is key here.

Micromanagers won’t change so you have to adjust your ways. Control issues stem from a sense of insecurity which means you must be grounded to combat them. No one likes to be micromanaged, but if you learn how to deal with them work can become much more tolerable.

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