8 Effective Ways to Get Your Manager to Stop Micromanaging You

Micromanaging is the worst! It makes you feel like your manager doesn’t trust your abilities. It diminishes confidence. Continuous scrutinizing of the work process can discourage you to come up with new ideas, due to a fear of getting shot down. Overall checking up on employees, time and again, is detrimental to the organization’s health!
New managers often struggle with delegation. New responsibilities make them more accountable and fearful, which leads them to trust you (and other subordinates) lesser.
Remember, micromanaging may or may not be a result of your actions. Addressing the underlying cause can help build lasting trusting relationships with superiors to shape a conducive work environment for everyone.

1. Identify and address insecurities
A manager’s own insecurity is often the reason he/she micromanages employees. Lack of confidence in their own abilities can make them doubt yours too.
What you can do:
Show your manager that you are reliable. Solve problems that exist only in your manager’s mind. Over-communicate the project status, periodical progress or a positive outcome of a meeting to eliminate anxiety. Frequent one-on-ones with your manager can also re-affirm that you are reliable.

2. Build trust
Maybe something in the recent past broke your manager’s trust in you. Or he/she is having a hard time placing trust in you, to begin with.
What you can do:
Form a personal relationship in the professional context. Make your manager feel comfortable with you and establish a human connection. Be vulnerable at times. Be honest. Don’t let him/her build up unrealistic expectations. But never fail to give your best.
In the event that a recent mistake broke your manager’s trust in you, do everything you can to gain it back.

3. Prove your credibility
New managers find it hard to delegate. It is harder to get somebody to do your work the right way than doing it all by yourself.
What you can do:
Find ways to take up small, almost negligible responsibilities and accomplish them well by yourself. Take on tasks you are incredibly good at to ensure there is no short-coming. Every small win can prove your credibility, thereby helping your manager worry a little less about what you do.

4. Communicate openly
Sometimes, it is possible your manager doesn’t realize to what extent he/she has been micromanaging you and how it has been impacting you.
What you can do:
Communicate clearly (remember to be polite). Clarify expectations, boundaries, desired goals and possible outcomes. Spell it out. One way to say it is “when you do X, I feel that I am being micromanaged, and it leaves me reacting like Y.” Pinpointing can lead to big changes!

5. Mirror your manager
It is easy for one to trust those who would do things the same way one would do it. Your managers often think no differently.
What you can do:
Keep communication transparent and do your work sincerely. At crucial times, such as delivering your work, when you have a chance to act, mirror your manager’s behaviour. Gestures, pace, words – all work. It makes one feel like you have done it just the way he/she would have. This trust opens doors to later delegations.

6. Ask for feedback, not permission
You often get treated the way you allow yourself to be treated. Asking for permission shows a lack of decision-making skills, thus inviting micromanagement.
What you can do:
Those who can take charge often get managers off their backs. Take initiative. Approach your manager with a thought-through plan.
Begin work and seek help in the form of feedback where needed.

7. Match intentions with actions
Often, managers who micromanage do so with a positive intention in mind. While you feel suffocated, he/she may feel things are right on track.
What you can do:
Let them know how you feel. Bridge the gap between expectations and reality. Understand the intention and communicate suggestions on how better to achieve it. Don’t let misunderstandings creep in between you and your manager.

8. Show who is in control
Some managers often micromanage to show cocky subordinates their place. It is an egoistic move to show who really is in control!
What you can do:
Identify the triggers. Maybe your manager is trying to assert his’/her importance to higher-ups. Or he/she worries that subordinates don’t find his/her role essential.
Show your manager that you value his/her guidance. Always take your ideas to your manager first. Don’t undermine the authority in front of others. If needed, communicate in private with a humble tone. This can assert who is in control and help relax your manager’s grip.

A manager and subordinate’s professional relationship is as good as the efforts both ends make. And as we all know; every relationship takes effort to build and needs the effort to make it work.

Also Read: Urgent Or Important? A Guide To Choosing And Prioritizing Tasks At Work

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