Surviving the micro manager
What does the word Micro Manager mean to you?
It fills me with absolute dread. What on earth is to be gained by making people feel inadequate and mistrusted? Why do these people exist in management roles? It seems senseless that these breed of archaic dinosaurs are still in existence and it is high time they were put out to pasture and replaced with vibrant and innovative leaders of people.
If you have ever worked for a micro manager then you know all the signs, but if not, then here are a few:
Constantly ask you what you are doing all day
Interrupt you every hour to ask you the same questions.
Pick holes in everything you do.
Take back delegated work to finish it themselves if they find mistakes.
Refuse to allow you to make decisions without consulting them.
These are just a selection, most are familiar to me. I had a manager once that would hover around my desk incessantly and ask me ‘ What I was doing' . If you are highly competent in your work as I was, this sort of behaviour can be highly demotivating and lead to high amounts of stress.
So how do we try and work with such behaviour ? It is a difficult task as one of the main traits of a micro manager is their refusal to listen, their ‘my way or the highway attitude' will never be 100% fixed but it is possible to alleviate the situation:
1. When meeting with a micro manager, remember to keep calm at all times, there is nothing to be gained by demonstrating your frustration. It is what they want, it feeds their overwhelming sense of self importance. Do not react, even if you feel like screaming - simply document meetings.
2. Ask for information - a micro manager is always on the look out for mistakes to gain control of the situation. If a project has been delegated to you then ask open-ended questions in order to get the full picture. Document this and then get sign off on it. This will ensure that both parties are in agreement.
3. Ensure that you keep the micro manager updated, to avoid necessary questions and to stem any opportunity for them to interrupt your flow.
4. Always deliver everything on time and in the right order. When you deliver it, either by email or in person, back it up with facts and refer to the notes from previous meetings. 5. Ensure that you feed the micro managers need for information at all times, have facts, figures and anything else you feel that they will need at your fingertips at all times.
Micro managing is a serious issue in the workplace, if you like me previously, you have decided not to abandon ship and work with your manager then resolve to manage upwards - now there is another blog!
Guest post from: Anita-Clare Field - Founder - Roundpeg Learning and Development
Anita-Clare Field has over 23 years experience in Publishing, entering in 1987 as Advertising Sales Executive. Throughout her career Anita-Clare has held many titles including: Advertisement Manager, Sales Director and Publishing Director. She is now Director of Round Peg Learning and Development a L&D consultancy specialising in developing people from the inside out.
Contact Anita-Clare via her website www.roundpeglearninganddevelopment.co.uk