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How To Deal With A Micromanager

Updated: Oct 14, 2020


Every micromanager has an agenda. Find out what it is and work with him. The micromanager feels compelled to know what is going on. Find out what he needs to feel confident and comfortable, and then get it to him.


- The micromanager fears things remaining stationary or at the same pace more than other managers.


- Confusion runs high with the micromanager. Clarify your conversations and agreements in a trail of memos and e-mails.


- The micromanager is notorious for piling it on.


- 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 cannot).


- 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.


- The micromanager backs off some people more than they back off others. Watch those people closely to learn their secret to warding off the micromanager. Their secret, however, may not be a technique you desire to use. Some may use intimidation or ridicule to keep the micromanager at bay. You want positive ways of dealing with him or her, not destructive ones.


- The micromanager will go to war on every issue. If you are going to stand up to him, pick the battles that are most important to you.


Managers of supervisors need to know their place. That means directing and coaching them (supervisors) without interfering with their operations directly. They should not be directing employees when the supervisor should be. They should not be doing the scheduling, vacation calendars, or over-ruling the decisions of their supervisors.


Micromanagers that fail to leave decision-making to supervisors undermine their own success. Supervisors will feel unappreciated, a feeling of distrust, and a lack of importance overall. This results in the opposite effect of empowerment and is destructive to the workplace.

- - - - -

The first two years after my boss first arrived, he was very good for leaving decisions in the proper hands. Employees knew they had to deal with their supervisors. This eventually changed as employees who were refused days off by their immediate supervisor went over their head and got it approved. Next, the boss demanded the vacation calendar. Finally, he was meddling in other personal conflicts on the floor that belonged to the floor supervisor. This problem grew to the point where people got what they wanted from their supervisor or they would say, “Fine, I’ll just take it to Jim, he’ll okay it.” Eventually, Jim realized he was being played by some of the employees and stopped this bad practice. The supervisor overseeing the actions is responsible for monitoring and taking the appropriate action when needed.

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James - - 14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead.

James 2:26 - - As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

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