I’m sure none of us like being told what to do, when to do it and how to do it…constantly. But what if you find yourself subjected to this behaviour?
Some of the signs you are being micro-managed may include:
- The person joins projects without asking, then takes over.
- You are asked to be cc’d into emails that aren’t the person’s direct brief.
- They are bogged-down in the detail of many projects because they want to be involved-in and know everything.
- They ‘save’ you from making mistakes.
- They constantly add their suggestions, without giving you space to think or problem solve yourself.
- They see things one way – their way.
- Their hands are in, ears are off and mouth is on.
So how might you manage a micromanager?
First, do a bit of self-reflection to determine if you are doing anything to contribute to their behaviour.
- Have you missed deadlines?
- Have you withheld information, or not kept them in the loop on project progress?
- Do you come to them with problems without solutions?
- Have you made the same mistake without modifying your approach?
- How trustworthy have you been in your actions and words?
Next, reflect on their behaviour:
- What triggers them to micro-manage? Notice patterns of behaviour.
- What are their intentions? Sometimes with the best of intent, they can be accidentally minimising those around them.
Finally, try some of the following approaches:
Get clear on expectations: “Paint it done” (Brene’ Brown): Seek clarity on specifically what they want it to look like when completed and who does what part so you are clear from the outset.
Set boundaries: Ask “When do you want to be involved?”
Use the language of collaboration and common purpose. Eg: “I can take care of the minor details so you can focus on your jobs. That way we will keep to the timeframe”.
Share progress: Ask “When would you like me to give you updates on progress?” and “How would you like those updates?”
Reinforce their helpful behaviour: When you experience helpful behaviour from them, use phrases such as:
- I really appreciate the trust that you showed on [….]. It helps me do […]
- I was able to pull this project on time due to your support in […]
- I was able to spend my time productively as we agreed upon by doing more of […] and less of […]
Have the conversation: With time, you will know if they are open to criticism. Take that opportunity to talk to them about the specific behaviours, how they impact you and what changes can be done to work better together.
Go well this week.