Home Leadership Skills The Micromanagement Reduction Plan
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The Micromanagement Reduction Plan Print

How To Work With A Micromanager In Seven Easy Steps.

{mosadsense4joomla ad_layout="A"ad_align=""}Nobody likes to be micromanaged, and yet many people don't know what to do about it.

The truth is, a person who is being micromanaged can actually do quite a lot to improve the situation.

Here are seven ideas to consider.

  1. Step in to the fray and do stuff.
    Accomplishment speaks for itself. A lack of trust is often the foundation of micromanagement, and it is much easier for the boss to trust someone who performs well. Earning the boss's trust is vital if you are going to help him or her abandon a micromanagement style.

  2. Sometimes, It is better to ask for forgiveness than permission.
    Don't be an enabler of the boss's micromanagement style. Make decisions and take the initiative to do things, rather than waiting for guidance from above or asking for approval at each step. But, the key word here is "sometimes." Remember, he is still the boss.

  3. Keep the boss informed and help him "look smart."
    Micromanagers always want to know what is happening, so make sure you provide a dependable, accurate source of information. Regular, concise reports of progress and events, both positive and negative, will help scratch the micromanagement itch and give the boss a feeling of involvement.

  4. Run interference.
    Protect the boss's time, redirect things when necessary, and help keep him out of the weeds. Make sure everyone knows the boss doesn't need to see everything - that is why he has a staff. Don't cut him out of the loop (see #3), but don't let him get entangled in every loop either.

  5. Speak up and volunteer.
    Don't be bashful; plug yourself in to the process where it's appropriate. For example, when the boss asks for a two hour briefing, volunteer to hear it yourself and to summarize it for him later. Ask if there is anything on his To Do List that you can handle for him. He may say no, but it doesn't hurt to offer.

  6. Bring assessments and recommendations, not just problems and options.
    When something needs the boss's attention, don't let him start from scratch. Do your homework (and some of his) before it reaches the boss's desk. When the boss asks for options, don't just pass them along without comment. Make a recommendation based on your honest analysis, and give supporting facts.

  7. Be honest and frank.
    Tell your boss what you want to do and how you want to do it. Ask for more latitude and less upper-level involvement. Let him know when his assistance is and is not needed.

The Bottom Line
Firm proactivity is our best hope to minimize micromanagement. Silent complicity just perpetuates it. It may seem easier to go with the flow, but in the long run, failing to take action is going to hurt a lot more than speaking up. We need to do what the boss asks us to do, but we also need to help him ask for the right things.

2001 © Daniel Ward

About the Author:

Daniel Ward is a Captain in the United States Air Force.
He holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and Engineering Management, and is an amateur juggler and fire-eater.
He is also the author of the upcoming book "The Radical Elements of Radical Success."

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