How To Survive the Micro-Managing Boss
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How To Survive the Micro-Managing Boss

Advice to persons working for what is described as a Micro-Manager, that is a person who must be involved in every aspect of the job, virtually doing your work himself, and finding fault with even the most perfect job. The strategies to adopt when working for such a person are rather simple and eradicate stress, the major aspect of such employment.

It is not revealed until some time into one's employment that their immediate boss is a micro-manager.  A Micro-Manger is someone who can not delegate any action, from typing a letter to making a phone call.   He must do everything; not that he does well, for he is usually wrong, but anything that does not bear his footprint will be rejected.

A Micro-Manager is highly demotivating for staff.. If one could find another job one would, because the stress is mega. However, in this economy one doesn't move until one is certain of the venue, hence remaining in such a position has become mandatory.

This means one must develop new and rather non-productive survival skills.

Firstly, remind yourself that this is his work, his time. If he wants to so tamper  with productivity and waste time, it is his for the wasting.   It is not 'YOUR'  work nor is it YOUR time.  You are paid for sitting in the chair.  If you could normally finish five documents in a morning, but are now constrained to finish one a day, so what?

Slow yourself to a crawl.  Take your time, revise, and wait until he asks for the the document. Never run to him with 'I Finished!' He considers this provocation. Wait until he asks for it. While you wait, use the computer to play games, write articles, do whatever it is to keep yourself happy.   Micro-Managers are miserable.  You being happy all the time is your greatest asset.  You will not get mad,  you will not show temper or resentment.   He can not effect your mood. This is your major weapon.  

When he asks for the document bring it up on the computer.  He might want to read it on the computer before he allows you to print it.  Micro-Managers are known to waste thousands of dollars to save one.  Again, it is not YOUR money.   Why worry about it?  If he wants you to print a draft, do so.   He will find something wrong with it. You'll do it again.   You will show no frustration, you will accept his 'corrections' as receiving all the wisdom of the world.   Even if you know, for a fact, he is wrong, do not attempt to correct him. 

Micro-Managers have serious issues.     They feel threatened, they feel people don't respect them as they deserve.  They have a need to aggrandise themselves.  By making you feel inferior, incapable, unable to do the simplest task, they feel better about themselves. The fact you don't feel inferior, you know you are not incapable, and know he is an idiot must be kept to yourself.

Hence, you arrive at work, happy  You set up, read your email, bring up a document as a beard, and wait until he asks you to do something.  Often, you've already done it.  Don't tell him that, nod.   When he goes away, proof read, then go back to your games. Wait until he asks for it.  he might pass your desk ten times, and ignore you.  Keep your head down, don't make eye contact.  Wait until he asks for it. This could be three hours later,  Don't stress, wait.  When he asks, tell  him it is 'ready'.     He will examine it, find things to correct, and go away, Make your corrections, go back to your game, when he asks again, tell him you've finished.

Micro-Managers hate competence.  They can not deal with a person who can do the work faster than they can.  hence, by needing his go ahead to do the work, he remains in control. By finding fault he exercises his power.  By 'pressuring' you to finish he confirms his position.

Learning how to 'play' the Micro-Manger leads to a very comfortable working environment. You do far less work than you can imagine, have no stress, and  because you so coincide with his fantasies you will probably be promoted.

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