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 I often get comments from readers of my blog about being micromanaged. Oddly, I don’t get many from people who worry they are guilty of micromanaging.

Micromanaging is one of the most corrosive workplace behaviors a boss can demonstrate. Some bosses can’t even recognize they micromanage. Most would never admit it.

It is quite possible that the employee is not good at their job. But, instead of constructively confronting the poor performance, the boss grinds the employee down, and maybe out.

Most employees would never understand the pressures of leadership. Unfortunately, that pressure may show itself in unhealthy behavior – like micromanaging.

From the Boss’ perspective, there are four drivers of micromanagement:


  • Of someone else getting credit.
  • Of getting blamed if something goes wrong.


  • People who obsessively micromanage often aren’t sure they’ve got what it takes. They step on other people in order to make themselves feel better.
  • They worry others cannot see their worth/work.


  • Ego, bravado, bullying
  • Assert authority
  • Demonstrate pecking order or dominance.


  • They feel those involved can’t do the job.
  • They think things are not going to get done “properly”.

Are you being micromanaged? Here’s what to do … 

Do your job well! Then:

Remove the perceived need to micromanage.

  • Get to work on time.
  • Meet deadlines.
  • Be productive.
  • Make clients happy.
  • Show you’re trustworthy, thorough, and on top of your work.

 Ask how you’re doing.

  • Complaining to your friends and spouse won’t get you very far. Gather up your courage and speak to the boss.
  • Ask what’s expected of you and how you’re doing.
  • Make it clear you want to know how to improve.
  • Be positive and respectful.
  • Do not criticize her management style.

 Be proactive.

  • Keep him informed and in the loop.
  • Send regular messages, reports and next steps.
  • Provide assurances that everything’s under control.

 Teach your boss how to delegate.

  • Prompt her to give you all the information upfront.
  • Set times for check-in meetings.
  • Volunteer to take on additional projects.
    • This helps her see the need to delegate—and how you can handle the responsibility.
  • Discuss the process and ask for suggestions for improvement.
  • Thank her for the opportunity and the hands-off approach.

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