Let It Go: How to Stop Your Boss from Micromanaging You

stop boss micromanaging

There’s a reason why people say, “Don’t pick a job. Pick a Boss”. The people you work for are the biggest factor in your career’s success. Talking from personal experience, I’ve had my fair share of leaders who enjoy that sense of power they get from micromanaging their subordinates. From making it a rule to get their approval every time to completely disregarding everyone’s ideas and only seeing theirs as the “right” one. These are telltale signs that you are being micromanaged, so how do you stop your boss from micromanaging you?

“A boss who doesn’t trust you won’t give you the opportunities to grow.”
William Raduchel

It’s important to note that the relationship between the manager and the employee shapes the future of the organization. How they support each other during tough times and work out their differences through their day-to-day tasks. It’s only natural that we face conflicts at work, but ones with the boss can be the biggest source of stress and exhaustion. Here are our tips on how you should deal with a boss who won’t stop pushing your buttons.

First Things First: Is Your Boss REALLY A Micromanager?

  1. They avoid delegation. No project can be done well unless they do it themselves. Every process needs their approval, and each project gets reviewed and edited by them without giving you any feedback to develop your critical thinking skills.
  2. Their trust in you is little to none. They exude this “fear of missing out” vibe by constantly asking for updates, asking you to make reports on everything, and demand to be kept in the loop on all communication.
  3. They are too scared of making mistakes. Their perfectionism seems to be making things harder for you and the rest of the team. Be it them getting fixated on tasks having to be done their way or making simple things complicated.


How Do You End That Micromanaging Tyranny?

Put yourself in their shoes

It’s important to remember that micromanaging is an outgrowth of insecurity. This can happen due to various reasons, past experiences that you might not know. Hence, to play their game and lessen your stress, just simply follow their rules and prove yourself through outstanding work. With time, they will learn to trust you and allowing you the freedom to work independently.

Make sure that it isn’t you

If you are new, it is good practice to ask your superior whether you are doing a good job and get their feedback on your performance. Some micromanagers can be indirect in their report; hence it is time for you to take the first step and ask. Worst case scenario is that you’ll have to face some direct but constructive criticism on your performance. Nevertheless, it will help restore their faith in your abilities, and you’ll be one step closer to gaining that trust.

Talk it out

This is where excellent communication skills come in to help resolve your issues. While a discussion is never easy with your superior, this first step is crucial if you truly want to stop that micromanaging behavior. Approach your boss that you are very eager to learn and grow, but in order to do that, you need more autonomy. They might not know what they are doing; hence, it is your responsibility to mitigate the issue, leading to them backing off.

Find Ways To Prove Your Credibility

Your supervisor may need help because they can’t seem to be able to let go and delegate tasks. While it is not your responsibility or place to remind them of it, you can start by taking on work or projects that you are fully confident in. Ensure that you are communicating with your boss on your progress. These small wins will surely increase your confidence and theirs.

Mirror Your Manager’s Communication Style


Pay close attention to their communication style and work pattern when giving you feedback on your performance. This is an intricate psychological game where you learn those patterns and mirror them by communicating precisely on your progress. Inform when you will deliver it and deliver it on time (or let them know if there will be any delays). They will be comforted by this and feel as if your work is “just the way they would do it.”

Anticipate what they want and ask questions

A micromanager is like the OCD guy who just can’t leave the house without worrying whether he has turn off the stove or locked the doors. Hence, start a new habit where before starting a new project, be sure to check in with your boss. Ask how they would want the project to be done and ensure that you’re writing them down. If they have a problem with your work, later on, you have something to defend yourself.

Your last resort

There is a huge possibility that some people’s controlling behavior cannot be changed. If despite all your efforts and attempts to gain their trust, they still micromanage you, it might be time to consider moving on to your next prospective employer. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but if the situation is not something you can deal with and affects your mental state, the move is worth taking.

Why Micromanaging Is A Problem That Needs To Be Addressed

If you are that micromanager and you’re thinking, “There’s nothing wrong with being a little strict and persistent.” Then think again. When you micromanage someone, it has three effects on your employees. You are undermining their abilities and skills. You will demotivate their progress in not only their tasks but also the overall role and create self-doubt due to your lack of trust in them. The best leaders in the world recognize the strength of their underlings, place them in a position where they can utilize their strengths, and check in every once in a while to see if they need help or guidance.


Related: 10 Questions You Should Never Ask Your Boss


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