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Deal with a micromanaging boss

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Coping with a boss who micromanages is tricky. He or she can make you feel like a child, stifling your creativity and using up too much of your time with unnecessary progress checks.

Follow these tips to address the situation:

  1. Check your performance. Make sure that you aren’t encouraging the behavior because your performance is not meeting expectations. If you have failed to meet deadlines, show up late regularly, turn in mediocre work, or have received complaints from customers or coworkers, your boss might be justified in hovering over you.
  2. Be impressive. Even if you are already a top performer, step it up a notch. Go the extra mile to produce high-quality work and please clients. If you have a stellar performance, you will build your boss’s trust and reduce his or her concerns about your ability to do the job.
  3. Ask your manager how you are doing. Explain that you are concerned because he or she is monitoring your work so closely. Ask what you can do to prove to him or her that you can do the job without constant supervision.
  4. Offer regular updates and status reports without being asked to. That alleviates your boss’s need to check in regularly.

— Adapted from “Managing Up: When Your Boss Is an Obsessive Micromanager,” Peggy Drexler, www.forbes.com.

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