How Do You Deal With A Micro-Managing Boss?

How Do You Deal With A Micro-Managing Boss?

We all have to deal with micro-managers, but when that person actually has authority over you, they can make life very difficult. We’re wondering how you deal with a micro-managing boss.

Photo by Casey Fleser.

We all know the signs of a micro-manager: they breathe down your neck, like things their way and their way only, and basically make you feel like you can’t even do your own job. Organisational weblog Buttoned Up recently shared its tips for dealing with a micro-manager, but we know those bosses are everywhere, and that you guys probably have a lot of experience. So we’re curious: How do you deal with that situation? Share your advice, experiences, or just plain frustrations with us in the comments.

How Do I Deal With a Micro-Manager? [Buttoned Up]


  • In normal cases just try and find out how or what the boss likes things done the most. He will stop breathing down your neck because you are pleasing him and relationship will only strengthen.

    Then again that’s a perfect scenario, which hardly happens. Because you have those who just micromanage for the sake of making sure that you know that they are the boss and you are a puny underling. In which case just review your job description and what it is you exactly do for him
    and confront him with it.

  • i have never had a manager that i couldn’t tell to fu*k off, respectfully so. always keep office communication honest and upfront. if you don’t like being micro managed, tell them. never use the term ‘micro managed’ though, its use is aligned with under performing staff members. if you need to be micro managed, your days are probably numbered. don’t forget that micro management is a management technique of a paranoid inadequately skilled manager – focus on improving your managers skills, not the manager. if you don’t have the energy, you could always tell him to fu*k off. dont do that.

  • Keep a log. If your boss is micro-managing you for no good reason, make notes of every unreasonable or berating thing they do. When you have enough data, report them to someone higher up or threaten them with workplace bullying. When they see the cold, hard evidence, they back off.

    But +1 for standing your ground. If you get fired and you’ve done the right thing, you’ve got the power to get back at them.

  • I’ve never had a manager attempt to micromanage me, but I have had co-workers try it (we were both supervisors).

    I admit, I didn’t deal with it very maturely, but it was effective, but it worked. I just took each attempt of his to overstep his authority and actively negated it by doing something else – generally something that rendered whatever he wanted a complete non-issue, rather than approaching it from his direction

    It got things done, and he moved his attentions elsewhere after having his grand plans deflated too many times.

  • get a new job…they won’t change and all the effort that goes into working out to work with them will never be enough….you might as well spend it looking for a new job….

  • I work as an IT professional and I have my fair share of micro-managers. But really the solution is an easy one. Just consistantly do good work and prove that you don’t need to be micro-managed. When you finish your work, be proactive and ask for more.

    If your manager still persists in microing then just call it out. Say that you’ve always met your deliverables on time, that you are a hard worker and the micro-managing is making you less productive. IE it’s breaking your concentration, or it’s adding un-necessary stress.

    If you have proven yourself in their eyes, they’ll back off and hassle someone else instead.

    But quite honestly, I find that usually the people who constantly complain about being micro-managed are the ones who have the kind of work ethic that needs it. If you’re that kind of person, then take the other advice and just quit and get a job where the manager just doesn’t care.

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