Enemy at work
Dealing with the micromanager.
THE bad side of instant communication channels that work 24/7 is that they can make you feel as though you’re on the end of a long leash, especially if you have micromanaging clients or bosses.
Business gurus point out that micromanaging drives away staff, and decreases productivity. Even so, putting an end to micromanaging attitudes seems to be very tough. So how do you get a micromanager off your back? “If you have a micromanager client, it is crucial to convince him or her that you are competent enough to undertake the job, and that their creative input will be taken into consideration as well,” advises Dhevan Nair, CEO of Mastermind Concepts & Communication. “Being polite and diplomatic can also get them to back off and trust you to carry out the job at hand.”
Good phrases to use depend on why the situation has arisen.
If you’re new to the job, reassurance is called for. Clients like When you hire me, you hire peace of mind. I guarantee everything is done perfectly and on time. To back it up, talk about your achievements.
Bosses are tougher to convince. Good phrases that show you’re a good team player are I want you to have confidence in me. What do you need from me and when?
If the boss has been burnt before, a good formula includes acknowledgement of the problem, reassurance, plus a winwin solution.
For example, I appreciate you are concerned I may make mistakes. How about I give you regular updates on a weekly/ monthly basis? That would give you the information you need, and leave me free to get on with the job.
The subject becomes really tricky if you are the person who let the boss down last time. Recognising past errors, a statement of good intent, a suggested fix, and acknowledgement that you need help can work wonders. Also, avoid the word micromanage in favour of your attention to detail.
Try this or a variation: I appreciate I have made mistakes. However, I have learned from them and want to do the best job I can for you. How about I give you regular updates twice a week so you can be sure I am on track? Our meetings would also help me benefit from your attention to detail.
If the boss is incompetent, insane, or sadistic, there is little to be said. You either have to live with it, or head for the nearest recruitment agency!