How to Manage the Micromanager

July 13 2015

Few people, if any, like to be micromanaged. It’s counterproductive. It’s rage inducing. It’s annoying.

But in the workplace, the micromanager seems unavoidable. At some point in your career, you will encounter the micromanager- whether in a traditional or virtual office environment.

Here are a few tips on how to deal with and work with a micromanager.

Share & Communicate

Often, those that micromanage desire control. It’s not so much that they want to micromanage, it’s just a bad habit that they can’t quite break. It’s not so much about you and your work ethic. It’s about them and the need to be in the loop.

Keep them in the loop. Let them know where you’ll be and when you’ll be there. Make a calendar and share it. Put any meetings and tasks. Be transparent. This lets your boss know what you are doing and when, which will hopefully help quell the urge to check in every 15 minutes. Think of it as your way of being proactive.

Detail Productivity

The micromanager doesn’t just want to know where you are and what your plans are, he wants to know what you are doing and what you have done. He wants to know tasks are done. He wants to know you’ve done the things he’s asked of you.

Make it easy for him. Download an activity time tracker app. Send end of day reports. Let him know what you worked on and for how long. Micromanaging yourself is less bothersome and helps you see what you’re doing and keep on task as well.


At the end of the day, your boss probably has valid reasons for his neuroses. Maybe it was a bad experience or simply how he was taught to manage. Your boss is just a person doing what he feels needs to be done to get things done.

Let him know you respect him and his requests. Resist the “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” mentality.

As you respect him through communication and openness, and demonstrate your own work ethic, you’ll earn his respect as well. Chances are, you’ll both learn a little something from each other along the way.


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