En­emy at work

Deal­ing with the mi­cro­man­ager.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LIFESTYLE - By ELLEN WHYTE

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!

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