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How to deal with a micromanaging boss

Nobody likes a boss who is constantly on their case. It implies they don't think you can succeed on your own. The lack of empowerment and individual ownership that can result from micromanagement can be a source of stress and frustration.

There's no reason for this to be the case. Developing a positive and productive work environment is possible by employing these tips.




Make sure you voice your concerns to your boss

You might want to consider letting your boss off the hook if he or she generally has a good management style but occasionally tends to nitpick and overpay attention. Everyone has quirks and faults. However, if their micromanagement continues to negatively affect your performance and morale, take them to task in a private meeting.

Directness, tact, and empathy go hand in hand. Micromanagement isn't something all bosses do out of malice, but a majority believe they are doing the right thing. Their leadership style may emphasize control and attention to detail, or they may have been micromanaged themselves.

You may experience a sudden defensive response from your boss in either case. Avoid statements with broad and generalizing terms, such as "you always" and "you are," to keep the conversation constructive. Rather than focusing on the negative effects of micromanagement, emphasize the benefits of not being micromanaged. "I perform better when I'm given more autonomy" is far more effective than "you never give me the opportunity to work independently."


Take steps to stop micromanagement in its tracks

Keep your boss updated with regular progress reports if they are constantly checking on you. It might prevent them from disrupting your flow if you share what you're working on and what you've completed. The extra work might seem burdensome at first, but over time your boss may become less intrusive.


Establish and communicate professional boundaries

The importance of boundaries in all our relationships, including those at work, cannot be overstated. Limits on the amount of time you work, your communication channels, or the types of tasks you're willing to take on can be examples of professional boundaries. Be assertive and communicate your concerns calmly and professionally if your boss crosses a boundary you've established.

Don't lose sight of the goal. Work effectively and maintain a healthy work/life balance by clearly stating your commitment to meeting your work goals.


If necessary, seek alternative employment

The only solution to any challenge can sometimes be to quit, even if we want to stick it out and overcome it. If your micromanaging boss has become toxic and you have tried everything to deal with him, handing in your notice may be the best course of action. It is brave and empowering to leave a job that negatively impacts your mental health - don't feel guilty or like you are giving up.

You shouldn't quit until all other options have been exhausted. However, if everything else fails, take your services elsewhere and find a job that will allow you to thrive and grow.


The job seekers section of our website provides plenty of opportunities, along with information about roles matching your experience and skills.

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