#53: Help! My boss is a micromanager
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The atmosphere a micromanager creates
When I first started working, I had a boss that was a micromanager. For me, this didn’t work at all. He was controlling everything, asking for reports for everything I did, and told me how to do my job. And I honestly felt suffocated, I didn’t feel confident and I was stressed. Because of that, I didn’t dare to try new things and acquire new skills. I simply was afraid my boss was going to lash out and be very angry.
And most people who have a micromanager will react the same way. They will avoid telling the truth and will do things behind the back of their manager. That is because they know how controlling and angry their boss can get when they are under pressure or just got some bad news. Another thing that might happen, is that people become so dependent on the instructions they get from their boss, that they have forgotten what it is to have their own ideas or do things to their likings. It is clear that this situation isn’t good for anyone, so what can you do about it?
What can you do about this situation?
1- Respond instead of reacting
The first thing you can do, and I’ve said this many times already, is to respond instead of reacting. Responding means that you can see what’s past behaviors. Your boss’s behavior might be to become very controlling, but instead of reacting to that behavior, you understand the needs behind that behavior. Why is your boss always acting this way? He probably needs control to feel safe, maybe he wants to prove himself so that he can belong and feel respected.
2- Have a discussion with your manager
Once you have taken the time to understand the needs behind a certain reaction or behavior, you can prepare a discussion with them. I already know what you’re thinking.
“I really don’t want to talk about my boss’s behavior with them…”
Well, let me put it this way. When you have a micromanager and the situation bothers you, you have three options. Firstly, you can accept their behavior and all the consequences that come with them. Secondly, you can decide to quit. Or you can choose the third option, which is deciding to change something about your situation. In that case, you most certainly will have to have that conversation. But I will give you a couple of tips to help improve that conversation.
When you are having this conversation, like I have told you before, you will have to keep in mind the needs of your boss, and not the way they react. In order for you to do that, you will have to increase your energy. So plan this conversation in a time and location where you both feel at ease. And then when the conversation commences, explain the situation you find yourself in. Another thing I would recommend you to do is to explain how the situation makes you feel. People rarely get angry for expressing their emotions. If you tell your boss that in order to build a better connection and deliver better results, you need some autonomy and trust, and with that trust and autonomy you will feel better and keep them updated when necessary, they will feel that they can get that safety in a way that benefits the both of you.
Most of the time, your boss won’t even know that they are making you feel this way because their conditioned behavior takes over when they feel stressed. So by simply explaining the situation, expressing how you feel, and showing understanding towards their needs, you can make a great change for the better towards the future!
Am I a micromanager?
Sometimes, you can also become a micromanager when the pressure is high, without even noticing it. I know I sometimes become one too. Usually, you become one when your fears stand in the way. And the way you can recognize these fears is by asking yourself “why” a couple of times. Why am I being controlling and directive? Because I’m afraid I might not deliver. Why am I afraid not to deliver? Because I might disappoint someone? Why do I not want to disappoint? Because I want to feel valued. And sometimes just giving yourself the recognition and love you deserve will help you handle these directives and controlling traits.
If you want to know the 10 mistakes I made that cost me balance and relevance in fast-changing digital times, be sure to check out the link below!