Sep 28, 2022

12 Women Open Up About How They Deal With Being Micromanaged at Work

Ugh…being micromanaged at work really sucks.

And all of us have been there at one point or another in our working lives.

I had a boss at an old job who made every day a living hell and would just not let the workers do their thing…and it caused a lot of heartburn among the employees.

Today, let’s hear from 12 women who opened up about how they deal with being micromanaged at work.

1. Didn’t ask…

“Luckily, I work remotely almost all the time.

When I was in an office, I replied with, ‘I didn’t ask,’ and went back to my work. If they want to micromanage me, they’ll need to up their game.

I raised a passel of kids and currently have mini goats. … I can ignore ridiculous behavior all day long.”

2. Just a reminder.

“If it is a serial micromanager, I say during meetings with them, I have shown you XYZ type work before, do you have any improvements to make — and explain that I can work more efficiently if I don’t have to run everything by them (or whatever is the case).

It may take a few iterations. I am a professional, and there is nothing wrong with reminding a boss of this in a respectful way that is more about me getting work completed than their managerial type. Most managers have been burned before, so putting them at ease with my work is step one.

“I would not be passive-aggressive or weaponize incompetence. Try to figure out what is making the manager behave this way, and tackle it from that angle.”

3. That works.

“My last job had a manager that would micromanage.

So, I did all the things he asked until he grew bored of them because he could see the issue he caused by creating a new pointless rule.

Everything works itself out in the end.”

4. Two rules.

“I have only two rules of working:

(a) minimum interaction (one or two messages a day where we share things or update each other).

(b) independent working. I like to do things on my own. I am very particular with my work, so my employer knows bugging me won’t make a difference.

I have never never been micromanaged.”

—u/Flora

“I filter all unnecessary suggestions to do my work and ignore them. If they pester me about that, I speak to them once. Set my boundary, firmly, then tell them that if they continue to distract me from my work, they’ll be the cause of my lack of productivity.”

5. A good plan.

“Micromanaging usually comes from a place of being insecure about whether you’re doing your job, so give them ALL the information so they know you’re doing it.

If building trust doesn’t work, you can at least keep them busy enough that their boss will eventually tell them to cut that s**t.”

6. Tactful.

“I just tell people to stfu and let me do my job ’cause I’m capable.

I’m usually tactful about it, though. It works ’cause nobody expects my little 5’0″ a** to say anything.”

7. No worries!

“I was on a PIP (manager was sleeping with my team leader and felt insecure), so there’s that. She wanted to know what I did every hour so I did a breakdown of what I did every five minutes.

“10:05 a.m. went for a wee. 10:07 a.m. washed hands thoroughly. 10:09 a.m. returned to the desk, team leader spoke to me about his weekend. 10:11 a.m. filled in this PIP plan in detail. 10:15 a.m. updated whiteboard, etc.

I did that from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and handed it to her. She was bewildered! It was so funny. I said, ‘No worries; I can do the same tomorrow if you need?’

“‘NOPE, I’m good,’ she said. Was taken off immediately.”

8. Lay it all out.

“Ask for a meeting with your boss and the offending colleagues.

Lay out what’s going wrong, and discuss clear guidelines as a team.

Make sure you bring concrete examples of the micromanaging behavior and how it negatively impacts your and your team’s productivity.”

9. Vengeance.

“I let the manager take the wheel.

Want to be CC’d into every email? Sure thing. Want to dictate exactly which shade of green this flyer needs? Here are 12 nearly identical-looking swatches that you need to choose from by 3 p.m. Miss that deadline? Sorry fam, working on this other job.

Which one takes priority? Okay cool, ima send an email to the owner of the job I have to defer stating that my manager has prioritized this other job. With my manager, CC’d in ofc — if they have a problem, they can go straight to the manager.

I’m fortunate that I’m not hurting for money, so I can make my manager’s life hell. But I’m of the vengeful sort.”

10. Be clear.

“While I do appreciate you ensuring that my work is done adequately, I do not require this level of personal management; but I will be sure to reach out promptly with any questions or requests for assistance.”

11. Temporary respect.

“I’m a young manager at my work, so my older colleagues CONTINUOUSLY try and micromanage me because they’re older.

“It may seem petty, but I like to talk to them about what I actually do as my job and the specifics and ask them questions, and they really quiet down when they don’t understand what I’m talking about or know the answer.

“I also talk to my boss in front of them about my extra responsibilities and how I’m working on new stuff.

“It gets me temporary respect.”

12. I can wait…

“It doesn’t happen where I work now, but at my old job, my manager super micromanaged me all the time.

“I mostly just waited until she was busy with something else, and then I did what I wanted.”

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