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Buttoned Up > Everyday Life > Work > How do I deal with a Micro-Manager?

How do I deal with a Micro-Manager?

posted by Sarah on June 27, 2011 | print article | e-mail to a friend
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  • Stephanie C Rogers

    “…stop focusing on “them” and “what they are doing to you.” Instead
    focus on what you can control…”
    This is great advice on dealing with life in general!! *shared*

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  • Anonymous

    Of course, you could..divorce her, but that’s rather extreme…

    Just continue to say “Yes Dear” sorta like the baffled husband on Keeping Up Appearances…we all know a Hyacinth…

  • Guest

    This is good advice. I went through similar drama recently having my decisions undermined constantly. Problem wthe compounded by a “bring me a rock” mentality; she was out of their depth in what she are asking for. I left too after it affected my health. She was politically savvy, hung around, lost her department and the got promoted sideways.

  • Guest

    Here’s another good source of good information on dealing with a bad boss….

  • McFarlane

    for point no.1:”Whenever you are given a task or assignment from her, always reiterate
    back to her what she wants and ask if you understand her correctly. You
    can couch it in “Just so I understand the end product you want…” or “I
    have the due date on this as X, is that correct?” or “Let me go over my
    notes quickly with you and let me know if I’m missing anything…”and ask
    specific questions if possible. This way you are showing her you are
    engaged in the assignment and intend on doing a good job.”

    I have already done this and yet in the end, his instruction was false and he didn’t accept his own mistake; just keep on denying.

    What is the best solution?

    should I tell this issue directly to my CTO, as my manager is a pending manager (currently being monitored as in probation promoted)?

  • Dg

    That is what email is for. Always leave an email trail when traveling this road my friend.

    Good luck.

  • MP

    Get everything in writing.  I had a coworker like this.  He would ask for something, and when it didn’t turn out the way he thought it should, he told me I did it wrong.  I started insisting on all instructions in writing, and he stopped giving me assignments.

  • Blueberry

    I had a micromanaging boss who thought I was working for other supervisors instead of him. So, twice a week, I sent a list of the last 3-4 days’ accomplishments as well as a to-do list for the next 3-4 days. It calmed him down to see the tasks I was working on so he could verify that I was indeed doing what was expected of me. 

    That strategy helped me (and it’s a little passive-aggressive), but I left in the end. 

  • Greg

    My experience dealing with a Micro-Manager has led me to the conclusion that they are people who are simply insecure and scared to death that something might get blamed on them.  They are in most cases ego maniacs who respond best when having the ego stroked.  In sales you learn how to do this masterfully.  Stroke that ego and they are in most cases putty in your hands.

  • Greg

    My experience dealing with a Micro-Manager has led me to the conclusion that they are people who are simply insecure and scared to death that something might get blamed on them.  They are in most cases ego maniacs who respond best when having the ego stroked.  In sales you learn how to do this masterfully.  Stroke that ego and they are in most cases putty in your hands.

  • Slacker70

    I went finally got fed up and fed her to a nearby pig farm, hopefully nobody goes sifting through the stye for her teeth. . . 

  • marc

    That sounds like a government situation, probably even DoD, no?

  • marc

    Something that is missing from all of this, is that while you work to deal with such a horrible person, you equally work on getting out of that situation ASAP; preferably while leaving that “boss” hanging with unfinished projects and undocumented processes and procedures so they can scramble and feel the pain of not valuing those around them, even if it is through the anger and frustration they will have for you for ‘putting them in that situation/screwing them’. Remember, screw them as you walk out the door on short/no notice. Do you really think someone who constantly tells you how worthless you are and how many mistakes you make on purpose is really going to be a bridge you want to cross later on? Burn that mother down; preferably with them on it!

  • Hal Jordan

    I’m working for a micromanager right now, and he’s driving my crazy. Following old advice, I’m documenting everything, and if it gets too bad I will take it to his boss. A coworker has done that already, but I don’t know if it helped or not. I’ve heard that it’s to management’s benefit to designate an employee in each department as a problem and to have that employee on a Personal Improvement Plan, so when the next reorganization and round of layoffs occurs, they can quickly dump a bunch of people. I’m 5 years from retirement and I don’t want my name on that list. Today’s tactic I tried was to say that I had taken his latest criticism to heart and made changes so that it would never happen again. He didn’t have a good response to that other than to say that he would be checking to see if the problem is solved. If he can’t pin that specific problem on me in the future, then maybe the white hot spotlight of his attention will turn to someone else. And if enough of us complain to management and Human Resources, maybe he will be the new supervisor of the janitorial staff.

  • Logikly

    Micro managers are like puppy dogs. Show them something shinny and all of their attention will go to that. That’s a great way to get them of your back and show them that you’re productive. 

  • Guest

    Some people refuse to go over topics in email for exactly this reason; you’ll ask a detailed question in email and then they’ll call you back to discuss it – that way they have “plausible deniability” as there’s no record of a phone call you can bring up.  The way to fix that – after one of those phone calls, write up an email that says “per the phone call we just had, I heard this, this and this – if any of this is incorrect, respond to this email please with the corrections, otherwise I’ll assume this is a correct summations of the issues discussed during the call.  Thanks!”  Bet you’ll wind up with more “follow up phone calls” at first, but just keep cranking these “summation” emails out – it covers you quite well and sometimes even DOES fix problems at the beginning of the project that were caused by miscommunications.

  • Debbiemurray

    That is exactly what it amounts to; insecurity of their own! If you aren’t stable enough and have enough confindence in yourself and your managing abilities, you probably don’t need to be a manager!! Boy could I make this story look like a small one!!! I could write a book on my micromanager!

  • Person in Aussie

    Wow. While I feel for all these people who have to deal with this type of person I’m glad I’m not alone (so yes I do feel for you as know exactly how it is). Just to today my doctor said for my health I need to get out but first to take time off and think what I really want to. I’m grateful for him he has given me two weeks off on sick leave to think about it & say will support me by giving me further time off

  • Maxiner1982

    The best advice I ever got for dealing with a micromanager was to recognize that the onerous behavior is a smokescreen for extreme insecurity and that she feels very threatened.  Once I understood that, my attitude changed, and I saw her for the needy, pathetic person she was under that blustery exterior, which made it a whole lot easier for me to lose my own hostility.  As a result, I was a lot less miserable, which was all I really wanted.  The bonus: we got along better, and I seemed to drop off her radar!  

  • Suzanne_Hugus

    I have a micromanager who proofreads everything and makes corrections to things that don’t make any difference in spelling or grammar or content.  She might change the phrase “that will be” to “which will be” either of which is acceptable.  When I take Minutes, especially, I am supposed to record what was said, not what she wants me to put.  This is frustrating to me.  What should I say to her?

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