How To Deal With Micromanagers

In the book, My Way or the Highway – the Micromanagement Survival Guide by Harry Chambers, the author describes the destructive behavior patterns of this kind of manager. Below are listed several strategies you can use to effectively deal with and survive the rigors of working for a Micromanager:

  • Find out his agenda. Determine what’s really important to him, then work with him—not against him.
  • Take the information initiative. Don’t wait to be asked for information. Find out what the Micromanager needs to feel confident and comfortable, then get it to him—ahead of time.
  • Practice the “art” of communication. No one fears inertia more than the Micromanager. Show that you’re working on priority projects by communicating in three specific terms— awareness, reassurance, and timelines.
  • Stay clear on expectations. Clarify your agreements in a trail of memos and e-mails.
  • Renegotiate priorities. Come up with a simple, straightforward method—such as a numerical or a color-coded system—for renegotiating the ever-shifting priorities.
  • Be pre-emptive on deadlines. The Micromanager loves to impose and even distort deadlines. Be the first to talk—offering a timeline for when you can do a task (not when you can’t).
  • Play by the rules. The Micromanager enjoys catching people in the act. Avoid being an easy target and play by the rules—particularly on policies regarding time and technology.
  • Learn from the “best practices” of others. The Micromanager backs off with some people more than others. Watch those individuals closely to learn the secrets of their success.
  • Choose your battles. The micromanager will go to war on every issue. Don’t try to match him. Instead, choose the battles that are most important to you.

This article and other resources can be found at Deskdemon.

Additional Reading
You Might Be A Micro-Manager If…
Need To Focus On The Good Stuff
Common Sense Carrots
Leadership Insecurity

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