Here’s something you didn’t know about me: I am a recovering micromanager. I love organization and predictability in the things that can be organized and predictable, because there is so much at work that is neither of those things. It was my way of bringing order to chaos.
That is not a good reason to be a micromanager. It’s something I worked on early in my leadership career because this is what I learned micromanagement can’t do:
Micromanagement is a fear-based approach to leadership and everyone who’s ever been a leader has hit this “station” on the “leadership development train” (some disembark and set up camp, others just visit and move on).
I mention this in case you have a micromanager in your life, so you can manage up, with insight. You see, common to all micromanagers is a deep caring about the work, and that’s the insight you need to help get a micromanager to relax their grip on your work.
Check out these examples of micromanagement, and what you can do about them:
Communication is key to empowering yourself with a micromanager, as is being clear about what is working for you and what isn’t. As easy as it is to label, blame and judge a micromanager, that is noise and a distraction from what really needs your attention - open communication.
Following these strategies, with insight and compassion, can keep your sanity at work, while building a better relationship with your boss. Win/win.