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I can’t imagine that many people enjoy being micromanaged. Micromanaging on any level, in any industry, can kill morale, disrupt productivity, and delay the day-to-day workflow. It can also invite unnecessary stress and problems into the workplace. As annoying as being micromanaged can be, can you imagine how different your workday would go if you changed the way you responded to it? Think about it.
1. Keep your cool.
Micromanagers are annoying. They check in too much, remind you about things you already know how to do, and can be complete control freaks. If you know how to do your job or any task being asked of you, you’re more likely to get it done without having someone over your shoulder watching your every move, right? That said, as annoyed as you might be with a micromanaging superior or colleague, keep your cool. Just do your best, manage your emotions and your day should move along fine.
Most micromanagers have issues with trust and delegating tasks. They may often overlook that by trying to monitor and control everything; they’re wasting time and slowly but surely heading down a road of burnout. So ask yourself, “What can I learn from this person?” Sometimes, seeing what not to do can help make you a better employee. Learn what you can from everyone you work with. Being micromanaged can even encourage you to be a better colleague and leader who operates with a better style and approach.
Because micromanagers can come off controlling, the best way to thrive in a workplace situation with them is to communicate clearly about what you’re doing. What are the expectations for the day? What are the specific deadlines for certain projects and tasks? What specific methods of communication are preferred? We can’t read each other’s minds, so we all need to be intentional about being good communicators. Great communication can ease things and help build trusting professional relationships, further eliminating any more micromanaging. This practice will take time and patience to work through, but give it time.
4. Take a break.
If you’re going to be successful at work, a major key is being able to work with different personalities you may not agree with, get along with, or even like, especially when it comes to micromanagers. So take breaks throughout your day. Sometimes taking a break and stepping back from a situation can give you time to clear your head and think about new strategies you can use to thrive in the role you’re in.
5. Listen to the criticism, but don’t internalize it.
Some micromanagers can be super petty to the point where they make you want to scream. They might criticize your work performance, continually send unnecessary emails, take personal jabs at you, or report things to upper management that can be damaging to your professional standing. My advice is to listen and observe anything constructive that may be useful, but don’t internalize or respond to every little thing. Especially if it’s something negative and unhelpful. If a micromanager can’t control you, they might perceive you as defiant and try to control the way others perceive you. While you can’t control their behavior, you do have the power to control the way you respond to it. So I hope you choose to thrive.