“Micromanager” is one the few terms that newbies start dreading even before they ever experience it. Last weekend, I was talking to my cousin who recently joined a pharmaceutical firm as medical writer. She was totally fed up with her manager and said “My boss is a perfect example of a micromanager “. This being her first job ever, I am still not sure if she really understands who a micromanager is.
I agree that no situation at work is more difficult that having to deal with a boss who believes in micro managing and controlling everything and everyone working for him. All your productivity and enthusiasm fails to satisfy a boss who is looking for small every opportunity to criticize your work. By personal experience, I can say that a micromanager can really make your work life an everyday challenge. His desire for perfection is insatiable. But there are times when you have no choice but to deal with the situation, may be because of bad job market or any personal reason. By the way, being micromanaged is not always bad. There are certain situations when micromanaging becomes essential. Read more about it on an old but relevant post by Forbes here.
Coming back to the discussion, escaping such a situation throughout your career might be difficult because any boss can be a tough boss. If you are caught in a situation where working with a micromanaging boss is the only option, these three tips can help you sail through it
Be punctual in every way – Not just coming and going on time, with a tough boss you have to stay punctual in many other ways. Be available during office hours, be on time for meetings, login for conference calls on time, and stay ahead of deadlines. Being punctual will help you operate your job more smoothly leaving less room for mistakes.
Be more organized at work – If your manager is over critical and has a close eye for details, you must become more careful and organized. Double check your work to eliminate any errors, provide timely updates, always stay in control of your workload, prioritize tasks and if needed delegate, keep him in loop on all work related matters. With time, your manager will learn trusting you with work and might limit his constant intervention.
Learn to laugh it out – Criticism is a subtle control mechanism of micromanagers . They correct every tiny detail and rarely appreciate any good job. Unless it’s open and unacceptable (professionally and personally), do not let his words affect you (negatively). Learn to take the situation easy, just laugh it out with friends and family. It will make you feel better.
We all want to work with a manager who trusts us, believes in our abilities and appreciates our good work. Unfortunately, a micromanager does none of these but if you are working with him, he is in a way preparing a better professional YOU for future challenges. Learn from the experience and move on.
Have you ever worked or are working with a tough boss? How do you manage situation at work?