How to cope with a micromanaging boss

Twenty Ten Talent - How to cope with a micromanaging boss

Unfortunately the chances are you’ve worked for a micromanaging boss who doesn’t seem to trust their team to deliver what they do best in a positive, effective way. A recent survey by Accountemps found 59% of employees have worked for a micromanager at some point in their career.

I personally had a boss who at the start of each day made each of us account for every 5 minutes spent within every hour of the previous day. It was torture. Even worse, nothing we reported back ever made him happy. I quickly realized his work style was a liability, but I refused to be the one to pay the price in the long term.

If you are dealing with a micromanaging boss right now, learning how to cope is tough but essential for your own sanity. Here are five things to remember if your boss is driving you crazy.

1. Don’t take it personally
Micromanagers have their own issues and you will no doubt be one of many people who are impacted by their difficult work style. Try not to let it get you down. Leave any work frustrations at work at the end of the day, don’t dwell on them at home or in your spare time. Instead focus on the positive, elements of your job that you find rewarding, skills you are learning or the networks and experience you are building.

2. Don’t mirror their bad behavior
The problem with bad bosses is that their work style can create a trickle-down effect. Don’t adopt your boss’s bad habits. Anticipate their needs but find a way to make sure you work effectively with others around you. Unfortunately bad bosses can create a toxic culture but you can control how you approach your work, and how you work with other team members. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming a micromanager by default.

3. Do your best
Continue to do your best work and maintain a positive attitude. The worst thing you can do is let a bad boss diminish what you can bring to the table. Make sure their work style is their problem, and don’t let it negatively impact your career in the long run. Focus on what you do best and what you are working towards accomplishing.

4. Remember bosses come and go
While it’s painful to endure, remember you won’t be stuck with this person forever. In the interim, where possible try and carve out opportunities to work with other individuals, even if it’s on an occasional basis, to provide some balance. If that’s not an option spending time on personal projects you can control is a great way to counterbalance the effects of dealing with a micromanager.

5. Learn from your boss’s failings
Micromanaging bosses can provide the best learning opportunities, as they reinforce what you can do to become a better leader. Learn from your boss’s failings to be the very best you can be now, and in the future.


Post by Octavia Goredema @OctaviaGoredema

Photography Credit: #WOCinTech Chat

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