Would you like me to explain it one more time before I go to lunch?
Did you remember to crosscheck, double check and check again?
Are you going to make the deadline?
Can I see it before it goes out?
If you work for a micromanager, I’m guessing you’re exhausted (and a little pissed off too)?
You know what you’re doing – you’ve done it before. You were hired because you’re good at this stuff. Or you learned how to do it and now you’ve proven yourself time and time again. And yet, your boss cannot seem to let go of the reigns. Micromanaging your work is like catnip for this guy – he just can’t give it up!
But he’s tricky, because while your boss is looking over your shoulder, he’s also telling you how much he trusts you and how wonderful it is that you’ve taken all that work off his desk. Really?
Seems like the work may be on your desk, but it’s still firmly planted in his head. His micromanagement makes it harder for you to do the work and he’s not getting any relief either. It would be great if he could get some coaching to help break his catnip habit – but in lieu of that, how about we help you?
The first thing to know is that this is about the micromanager, not about you.
You can’t take this stuff personally. He may be trying to prove how important he is (to himself) or be insecure about his own ability to effectively help someone (you) succeed without his help. He may be worried about being blamed if you do make a mistake. He may simply be in the habit of micromanaging – like a tic of sorts, he just can’t help himself.
And he probably doesn’t know how incredibly dis-empowering this behavior is for you.
So how do you empower yourself?
Coach Me Quick tips for controlling your boss’s catnip habit:
- Tell your boss that you notice he has been checking in and ask him if he is concerned about anything related to your work, or the task at hand.
- Ask your boss if there is anything you can do to help him trust you more with the project you are working on.
- Ask him if you can have scheduled check in times so that he knows he can check in but you are not constantly being interrupted at a whim.
- Shift your perspective. Can you see his insecurities and have some empathy? If you can, is there anything you can do to help him relax?
- Periodically, let him know all is going well with the project (without him asking)
I would love to know how things change if you implement these ideas! As always, you can respond to this blog with questions or feedback.
Avoiding catnip in L.A,