Having someone who’s always breathing down on your neck is a red flag that points to a toxic workplace.
A micromanaging boss will affect your productivity by asking for endless meetings and updates.
In this article, we’ll tell you why some managers choose to function this way, the traits of a micromanaging boss, and how to deal with one without starting a new job search.
- What Causes a Boss to Micromanage?
- What Are Micromanaging Boss Characteristics?
- What Are Examples of Micromanagement?
- How Do I Tell My Boss to Stop Micromanaging?
- How to Deal With a Micromanaging Boss
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
What Causes a Boss to Micromanage?
Most employees agree that having an overly-involved boss lowers their morale and affects their productivity.
Being watched by someone who doesn’t trust you and gets too involved with the details of your job is frustrating, leading to underemployment as more people will think about finding other jobs.
So, why would managers follow this management style? This can happen for several reasons.
- They can’t trust others to do something they previously did.
- They want to make sure that things are done right.
- Due to past errors, they might not have enough confidence in their team.
- This could be related to the organization’s structure as it’s more detail-oriented.
- They might suffer from imposter syndrome, being perfectionists.
- They have a control problem.
What Are Micromanaging Boss Characteristics?
Being asked about work updates as an employee isn’t something that should trigger negative feelings towards your boss.
But a micromanager boss takes this to the extreme, asking about every single detail, scheduling regular meetings, and being on top of everything.
This can significantly impact your creativity as a team member, creating an unhealthy work environment.
Here are some signs that can tell you the difference between good managers and bad ones.
They Have to Know Everything
A micromanager won’t just ask about how work is going but will ask for detailed sheets, calendars, and updates about every small task, even if this information has been previously provided.
They Tell and Show You How to Do Your Tasks
Encouraging subordinates to be creative will boost their productivity and make them feel better about the workplace.
Unfortunately, a micromanager boss will always dictate how to do work, and this can be highly discouraging.
You Have to Run Everything By Them
Delegation is key to the success of any business, as it gives managers more time to focus on coming up with new strategies.
But, micromanaging bosses never delegate tasks because they can’t trust their employees or they think they’re incompetent.
They Don’t Trust Anyone But Themselves to Do the Task Right
Lack of trust is a tell-tale sign that you’re dealing with a difficult boss.
Micromanager bosses won’t just settle for what you tell them, but they’ll ask you to check your calendar and revise documents that you’ve already worked on.
They might even interfere with personal information by asking about your whereabouts.
They Ask for Updates All the Time
Dealing with an approaching deadline is a significant cause of stress in the workplace.
And things won’t be easier if your boss always asks for hourly updates.
If he or she emails and calls you non-stop, you’ll be wasting your time providing the information you’ve already provided instead of focusing on your job.
They Discourage Independent Work
Difficult bosses will discourage brainstorming, teamwork, and creativity with no favoritism towards others because they don’t believe in the concept of trial and error.
This means that you’ll end up feeling stuck.
They Re-Do Your Work
A toxic boss believes that their way is the only way that works, so they’ll re-do every little thing because they don’t think you can get things done.
They don’t believe that your work is up to the required standards, and instead of focusing on their duties, they’ll be wasting their time and energy doing something they’re not supposed to do.
They might also ask you to repeat work, although it was done and completed in the first place.
What Are Examples of Micromanagement?
Steve Jobs is one of the most well-known examples of micromanaging supervisors.
These managers aren’t bad bosses; they simply don’t know how to delegate tasks and unintentionally make the company a place you don’t want to go to.
So, if you have anxiety before going to work, it might be caused by one of these actions.
Here are some examples that show you’re being micromanaged.
- You feel held back, and you’d rather wait for clear instructions from your boss.
- You receive more negative feedback than positive feedback and career advice.
- You take more time to finish a task because of a lack of necessary training.
- You have to follow up with a long list of requirements.
- Doing simple tasks feels like running uphill.
How Do I Tell My Boss to Stop Micromanaging?
A manager who follows this detailed-oriented style is extremely challenging to work with and should be dealt with immediately.
Depending on your position, whether you’re a junior employee or a higher-level one, there are a few things you can do to manage this difficult boss.
At the same time, there are things that you should avoid to help increase the company’s productivity.
What to Say to a Micromanaging Boss
There are a few things that you can say to a supervisor who gets too involved with every detail to help you survive the workplace and do your job.
- “I’ve already sent you a progress sheet, so you can monitor the workflow.”
- “What are your expectations regarding X?”
- “I feel that all these unscheduled meetings take my focus off work.”
- “I thought about using a tracking tool that will allow you to see how my work is progressing.”
What Not to Say to a Micromanaging Boss
Working with a boss who gets involved with everything can take its toll on you.
So here are some things you shouldn’t say to a demanding boss because they might make them feel that they’re right not to trust you.
- “I don’t like to be monitored and asked questions.”
- “Can I do X?”
- “I have done X,” when you haven’t. Lying will show them that you can’t be trusted.
- “I’m OK with this management style.”
How to Deal With a Micromanaging Boss
Keeping a micromanager informed and providing detailed progress about your task can make things flow smoothly.
Here are a few other things you can do while dealing with a toxic boss.
Bring it to Their Attention
In some cases, your boss might not feel that they’re doing something wrong.
So, you need to tell them that you’re not OK with this.
Come Up With Alternative Solutions
Since working with a difficult boss can be extremely irritating, you can suggest alternative solutions to make things work.
This includes providing them with access to your workflow through tracking tools, regular progress sheets, and asking for regular meetings.
Prove That You Don’t Need Their Micromanagement
Show your manager that you can be trusted.
Prove to them that you have enough credibility by doing your tasks right so they don’t feel the need to watch you all the time.
Talk to Colleagues About It
It might help you a little to see how things work with other coworkers.
There might be something wrong that pushes your manager to watch you more closely.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Kind of Personality is a Micromanaging Boss?
This is someone who worries too much and doesn’t think that their team can be trusted.
They’re overly controlling people, and because they’re always afraid to lose control, they will always try to get themselves involved with everything.
A micromanaging supervisor feels that they’re more capable than their team members and might deprive them of room for growth.
Is Micromanagement a Form of Abuse?
Some people think that micromanaging is a kind of bullying or mental abuse because it affects your productivity.
People who are micromanaged suffer from work-related stress that affects other aspects of their lives, and they can also deal with health issues like high blood sugar and headaches.
A lot of those micromanaged employees end up changing jobs because they can’t survive this toxic environment.
Dealing with a boss who always micromanages will make you feel stuck.
Let us know how you’ve managed to deal with a micromanaging boss and the challenges you’ve faced.
Sometimes, you just need to speak up and explain how this affects you, and your boss might reconsider.