Q: “Our micromanaging boss makes it difficult to accomplish our team goals. When we start a new project, she never discusses her expectations or her vision of the end result. She often shifts direction on a whim, leaving us feeling that we've done a lot of work for nothing. Do you have any suggestions?” Frustrated Team Member
A: Actually, your boss sounds more like a flip-flopper than a micromanager. Flip-flopping managers are either afraid to make a decision or constantly distracted by new ideas. Their chronic vacillation wastes a great deal of time and drives employees absolutely crazy.
With a flip-flopper boss, three strategies can help to save your sanity. One is to ask a lot of questions at the beginning of a project. This will not only help you understand your manager's objectives, but may also help her clarify her own thinking.
The second strategy is to schedule regular check-in meetings during the project to review progress and ask your boss for feedback. This allows you to see if you are on the right track and get an early warning of possible changes.
Finally, you must simply accept the fact that you have an indecisive manager. If you fail to adapt to herstyle, she will sense your irritation and possibly change her mind about you.
People with different work styles often seem puzzling. Here are some clues to look for: Understanding Different Work Styles.
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