Africa-Press – Liberia. In the middle of the pandemic, one Umutesi applied for a job as an accountant and got it. To say that she was happy is an understatement. She was asked to start immediately. Unfortunately, her joy was short-lived. This is because her supervisor constantly told her what to do, and how he wanted it done, dismissing her own competence.
On top of that, he kept on checking on her to see how far she had gone with the task, and this made her work under pressure, desperate to complete for the sake of submission.
Even when she had an idea or suggestion that she thought was valuable, her boss, she says, overlooked it, and went with his own ideas that he felt were best.
As she couldn’t handle such a controlling manager, she called it quits. And just like her, many employees face the same issue—working with micromanagers.
Micromanagement is one of the worst, most detrimental ways of managing people. It is seen as a lack of trust and support between a manager and an employee. In most cases, when managers become too involved in their team members’ work, they micromanage their employees rather than offer guidance.
Micromanagement is a style of supervision where a micromanager often avoids delegating responsibilities to employees so that the manager becomes the only decision-maker. Instead of teaching, they tell. Researchers have found that this response is largely driven by a mix of fear and a desire for power.
This style of management has a deleterious undertone, as it often disheartens individual growth and eliminates the sensation of individual triumph and independence. But why does this happen?
William Niyonzima, a business worker, explains that micromanagement can be due to loss of control over projects, untrained employees on the team, naivety in management, poor self-perception and anxieties, extreme need for control and domination, and so forth.
He says that in the micromanagement system, it is mostly boss-obsessed rather than customer-obsessed, every decision must be approved by the manager, employees are afraid to share their opinions, and there is swift turnover of talented people.
Dealing with a micromanager
Niyonzima adds that it’s impossible to satisfy a micromanager, all you have to do is to always try to put things in order as if he is not even there. There is no need to fear him or her, and you have to be confident of what you do and know that you are worthy.
“Always fearing and trembling in his sight can show that you are not good at what you do. Make it a point to assess yourself before he evaluates you, you can’t work without mistaking sometimes, however, you need to know where you made errors or mistakes before him. This can help you have a thorough explanation in case he needs it,” he says.
He urges workers to show interest in what they do as this can be seen by those they serve, including the manager. Although he can’t openly witness your good performance, he can be convicted that you are good at your work, and this will make him respect you.
According to Indeed Career Guide, before you approach your micromanager, take time to analyse your work ethic. Ask yourself if there are certain reasons why your manager feels the need to watch your every move. Try to understand their stress level and think of ways to reduce their anxiety. Assure them that you plan on completing your work in a timely manner and recognise they have other responsibilities to focus on.
“Ask for feedback in areas that you are concerned about, doing this shows that you’re capable of working through the process to the end and just need a little direction. If you have voiced your concerns regarding micromanagement, ask your leader about specific expectations regarding your work. Test their mood by sending out a friendly email letting them know you would like to discuss ways to enhance your performance at work. If you get a positive response, your manager may be willing to let go of some control after speaking with you.”