“Micromanagers” May Just Be Misunderstood

Are you someone who doesn’t work well under pressure or who easily gets frustrated when a manager follows up with you too frequently?

Many times, we let things like this snowball to an unhealthy point where we ultimately allow it to impact our attitude at work, our performance and/or our relationship with our leader(s). Next thing you know, you are majorly disengaged and find yourself looking for a new position.

What if we shifted our perspective a bit? If you currently find yourself frustrated with a micromanager, I challenge you to consider this one thing: WHY does your manager operate in this manner? Here are two scenarios to open your mind and approaches you can explore to strengthen your working relationship:

  1. Your leader could be experiencing a lot of pressure on their end, having to report back certain metrics or updates – causing them to place that extra attention and pressure on you. You may be thinking: “OK, great, but how does that help me at all? The point is that I’m not happy with micromanaging.” Well, I challenge you to have a conversation with your manager about the frequency in which he/she follows up with you. Ask if there is opportunity to space it out. What that will do is open the door for your manager to share more details with you, such as what is being expected of them. Many times, all we each need is a bit more of the “why” behind the situation to open our perspective and expand our understanding.
  2. There may be a lack of trust on your manager’s end. Now, this doesn’t mean you are performing poorly, creating that lack of trust. Your manager may simply like to be in control, meaning they have a hard time trusting others to do what needs done. So, I challenge you to have a conversation with your manager about their standards of excellence. For example, ask specifically how he/she wishes to see data or if they prefer things be submitted two days prior to a deadline. Yes, you may be thinking: “But, they are the manager – they should be the ones communicating to me about what they expect.” To that, I will say: Managers are human, too. We all need opportunities to learn and grow. Give your manager the opportunity to relinquish control by asking exactly what it is they need to trust your work!

The above are just two scenarios of many that could be the cause of a leader micromanaging. And, don’t forget, while the above approaches are used as examples to get your leader to open up, these techniques will also allow you to have the chance to share with your leader how YOU operate best. We, as humans, are each wired differently. All too often we allow things to pile up without addressing them in a tactful and effective way – creating walls where bridges could have been built. There are many missed opportunities to grow in your role, strengthen your relationships and contribute to company success, all because we do not take that extra step to communicate. Let today be the day you shift toward change!

If you need any support on having a conversation such as the ones listed above, please know I am here and would love to help! It could drastically impact your happiness at work. It could positively impact your manager. It could transform your career…

It will, if anything, give you a great chance to learn and grow!

Let's make it happen.

Jennifer Lee Inspiration