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  • Writer's pictureKeith Jeffrey

Micromanagement - Living in a nightmare world!

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

black text on blue background saying micromanagement
Micromanagement and how to deal with it,

Are you a micro-manager?

Worse, are you being micromanaged?

Everybody understands micromanagement is a bad thing.

It demotivates staff and creates additional work for the micromanager themselves.

Even the micromanager who clearly does not recognise themselves as a micromanager.

They say to themselves:

I am committed to quality, it’s important to get the job done properly.


The team or the staff keep getting it wrong and so I have to make sure they are doing it correctly.

Micromanagement reveals substantial management flaws which lead to ultimately stressed, unproductive miserable staff.

It’s no fun being micromanaged.

You experience criticism after criticism, often small and inoffensive, perhaps interspersed with a few compliments here and there, but the underlying indication is that the job you’re doing is not up to scratch.

Morale drops as you wonder if there is any point doing anything at all because your micromanager will spend a lot of time reworking whatever you do to get it “up” to their standard.

It’s a miserable experience.

You have skills and capabilities that are not being utilised.

It undermines your sense of professional identity.

You’re effectively being told you’re no good at this.

There is a time for micromanagement.

Very short-term situations where a team needs to come together to get a specific job done. It may also be used to bed in a new team member to make sure they understand what is required.

Fine for the short term but if it becomes permanent then it’s a problem.

If you’re being micromanaged, what should you do?

RECOGNISE Firstly recognise you are being micromanaged.

Easy to say whilst you are in the midst of things but remember your feelings are telling you something. Pause, reflect and listen to your feelings, look for triggers start feelings of dread. If that leads you back to your line manager then micromanagement be the issue.

Reflect on this article and work out if any of these words apply to your situation.

TALK The first thing to do is talk to somebody. This could be a colleague or a mentor, talk through with them how you are feeling about your line manager and build up a greater awareness of the challenges they are facing which may be causing them to behave in this way.

Understanding you are being micromanaged is the first milestone therefore.

CHANGE THE RELATIONSHIP Next step is to change the relationship with your line manager. I don’t mean pointing that they are a micromanager and its making you miserable. That brings conflict into the situation straightaway.

But take a deep breath and fill yourself with courage and say something like:

“I notice you have a lot of comments about my work or you always rework what I do. I can see this creating extra work for you, could you give me a better idea of what “good” looks like for you.”

This is about asking them to be more specific in their expectations of you.

Often micromanagement is a result of a manager simply not knowing what they want. Gird your loins and ask for a meeting to get more clarity over what is required.

You need them to trust you that you can do a good job, give evidence of your capability and ask for regular reviews of the work so that you can make sure you are delivering what is required to the right standard.


Bit drastic I know but changes do not occur then you will become demoralised by the situation, your work will deteriorate that micromanager will come to dominate your every thought, weekends will be ruined. Give in to their demands short term but accept you are leaving and why. This is a bad unhealthy situation and you must protect yourself.

Life is too short to put up with bad management.

If you’d like a conversation about this then message me for a free introductory conversation.

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