A reader writes…

I feel like I am constantly being micromanaged by my boss. What’s the deal?

Dear, “Under the Microscope,”

This is a tough question for me to answer since I am unaware of your specific situation. Is it that you used to feel more “freedom” in your position and now suddenly things have changed? Are you alone in this, or are your co-workers feeling the same way? Could it simply be your manager’s leadership style?

Regardless of the circumstance, feeling micromanaged is never fun. For some people, however, constant hand-holding and follow-up from their manager is appreciated and even necessary. For instance, if the quality of your work is diminishing, your manager may legitimately need to watch your every move in order to evaluate what’s going on. Perhaps you’re being asked to bite off more than you can chew… and things just aren’t getting done. Or, maybe you’re not the right fit for a particular task (and it’s evident in the work you are producing). Sort of like a science project, your manager may need to observe you under the microscope in order to make an accurate evaluation.

On the other hand, it could just be that you have turned into a complete slacker, and your manager has to keep a close eye on you (kind of like being grounded as a kid!) Be warned, if this is the case, your days on the job may be numbered. Your manager should not have to be your babysitter.

Then, there’s always the possibility that micromanagement is just simply your manager’s preferred “technique.” Don’t hold it against them… this is just how some managers are. They want to be involved with every transaction, copied on every email, and included in every decision. It’s good to have an involved manager. In fact, some people NEVER hear from their manager and have a hard time getting feedback or input on things (which can be even worse!).

I think the best thing for you to do is take a good look at your situation and initiate a conversation with your boss. By sharing your feelings and having an open dialogue you will likely discover the reason behind the microscope.


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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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