Micromanagement 101: Effective Ways to Deal With Micromanagers!

Last Update on January 19, 2024 : Published on January 20, 2024

Ever since I was a child, I’ve preferred to work on my own, even when it was a team project. I just couldn’t grasp the thought of others dictating what I should and shouldn’t be doing.

I’ve always been an imaginative person, and I love using my imagination to create different ways to look at things. Being also a stubborn woman, I couldn’t take the idea of others managing my creativity. 

You might understand my point if you’re somewhat like me. Let me break down the situation a little better; Imagine your boss breathing down your neck; critiquing every move you make.

Would you like that? No, right? Well, that’s what micromanagement looks like, and I hope my stubbornness – or preference – for doing things on my own makes sense now. 

Micromanagement isn’t just another buzzword of the week; it’s a nuisance of excessively controlling and meddling in someone’s business, especially in the workplace.

Micromanagers are not like team leaders; On the contrary to leaders, micromanagers have a desire to be overly involved in every aspect of your actions and tasks. They can be your superior at work, your over-ambitious coworker, your parents, and even your partner in a romantic relationship

So, do you have a micromanager in your life – at work, at home, or in social circles? Yes, then today I’m bringing you some effective ways to deal with micromanagers! 

10 Signs of a Micromanager

How to know that you have a micromanager in your midst? Watch out for these signs of a micromanager; 

  • They want everything to go their way 
  • They don’t like delegating tasks to others
  • They dictate to you how to do something 
  • They control the actions of others on how to do things 
  • They are not open to ideas you bring to them 
  • They don’t give you the choice or autonomy 
  • They don’t trust others to complete a task 
  • They excessively control every minute detail of your life 
  • They only offer praise and appreciation when things are done how they want 
  • They are excessively critical of others

Now, it’s not odd of you to think, “What’s the big deal? Aren’t they signs of perfectionism?” Well, here’s the thing – micromanagement can be a toxic trait, especially when it begins to smother creativity, lower morale, and reduce the idea of thriving.

It’s, in many ways, the kryptonite of imagination and creativity, and if left unchecked, micromanagement can become toxic for your productivity and talent. 

The Psychological Effects of Micromanagement

Micromanagement just doesn’t affect your productivity; it can also impact your psychological well-being. Here’s how; 

1. It increases your stress

Micromanagement can create a high-stress environment, giving birth to the fear of making mistakes. This can increase your stress levels, impacting your mental and physical health. 

2. It lowers your job satisfaction

If you are micromanaged at work, then you may begin to feel dissatisfied with your job. The lack of freedom and autonomy to make decisions and choices can make your work less enjoyable. 

3. It impacts your self-esteem.

Micromanagement can also chip away at your confidence and self-esteem. The repeated questioning and scrutiny of your actions by micromanagers can make you doubt your talents, causing a decline in your self-worth. 

4. It lowers motivation

When your efforts are ignored – at work or home – then it can lower your motivation. You may begin to question your purpose of putting in effort if every time your efforts are left underappreciated. 

5. It lowers your creativity

Micromanagement can also smother your creativity. The constant excessive control and fear of repercussions can make you hesitant to suggest new ideas or even take calculated risks. 

6. It hurts your relationships

With enough micromanagement, your relationships can begin to strain. The constant lack of autonomy and trust can cause resentment in your relationships, creating a negative environment. 

So, How to Deal With Micromanagers? 

Now that you know what happens when you’re micromanaged – or when you micromanage others – let’s take a look at how to deal with micromanagers; 

1. Step Into Their Shoes 

Even though it might hurt, look at the situation from their perspective. Is your micromanager feeling pressured? Are they struggling to meet their needs – at work or home? Knowing where their actions are coming from can help you consider your approach to dealing with them effectively. 

2. Set Boundaries 

This is the most important thing you need to do when dealing with a micromanager. Not having boundaries gives micromanagers the space to intrude. You can overcome this by setting clear expectations from the beginning. Communicate your needs and preferences so that everyone is on the same page. 

3. Keep Them in the Loop 

If you’re dealing with a micromanager at work, then keep them updated with whatever you do. Share your progress on projects, challenges, and even milestones to keep them away from you, but satisfied at the same time. This can reassure them and also put you in charge of the narrative. 

4. Work on Trust 

Micromanagers often have trust issues, and you can break this cycle by delivering results to them. When your results or outcomes are clear enough for micromanagers to understand, it can become difficult for them to question your efforts. 

5. Ask for Autonomy 

Be polite and express your desire for more autonomy. You can share your talents with them, making it clear that you’re capable of taking on the tasks and handling them without their constant hovering. 

6. Ask for Feedback 

Even if it is just to pacify them, ask micromanagers in your life for their feedback. You can also ask for clarification on certain things from them. This can show your commitment to becoming  better but also help shift the focus from constant hovering to constructive collaboration. 

7. Stay Calm 

Most of all, stay calm when you encounter a micromanager. Take a deep breath – yes, resist the urge to roll your eyes! – and respond as calmly and politely as you can. This can help you stay in check and also make you look like the mature one in the conversation, team, or relationship. 

And, How to Stop Micromanaging? 

Now, you know the ways to deal with micromanagers, but what if you’re the micromanager? Here’s how you can stop micromanaging; 

1. Trust Your People 

The most important thing you need to do is trust that whoever is handling the tasks is capable enough to do so without your constant hovering. When you give them autonomy, it allows them to be creative and initiative. 

2. Define Responsibilities 

If the responsibilities are not clear enough, it can prompt you to step in. Avoid this by clearly defining the responsibilities to others. This can prevent micromanagement and also help create a sense of ownership and accountability. 

3. Be Open With Communication 

Try to talk and offer a safe space where your coworkers, team members, or even your partner/friends/family can feel comfortable sharing, asking, and seeking help from you. Where there is open communication, the need to micromanage can diminish. 

4. Be Realistic in Your Expectations 

In a working relationship or a personal one, you need to set clear and realistic expectations. Setting unreasonable and unrealistic expectations can cause micromanagement, and we’re trying to avoid it. So, be reasonable and realistic. 

5. Make Room For Decisions 

Encourage the people you’re either working with or in a relationship with to make choices on their own. Offer your guidance and support, but make room for them to make decisions and take the lead. This can help boost confidence and motivation. 

Wrapping Up… 

That’s it, folks! Your quick guide to break free of micromanagement 101. Whether it’s in the workplace or your personal life, or whether you’re the one being micromanaged or doing the micromanaging, the above-listed ways to deal with micromanagement can help you. Remember, it’s about finding the right balance between working together and being responsible for others’ actions. 

I hope this article will help you learn what micromanagement is and how to deal with micromanagers. Let me know what you think about this article in the comments below. If you enjoyed reading this blog, then do give us a thumbs up! 

Take Care!

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

As Seen On