Can You Manage Micromanagement?

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manage micromanagement

Can You Manage Micromanagement?

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Will you change the behavior of your boss or the CEO? It is very unlikely, unless of course it feels like it is his or her idea. Is it possible to manage micromanagement? The easy answer is, “Yes!”

Understanding Root Cause

The solutions for managing micromanagement can vary drastically. It always depends on the root cause.

Sometimes managers micromanage because they:

  • feel let down by previous employees;
  • don’t trust you or your capabilities;
  • once did this very same job, so they are always the expert;
  • love the work that needs completed so they want to do it;
  • are insecure about their own role and don’t want you to take over;
  • and perhaps a dozen other possible reasons.

Manage Micromanagement

Probably the first step to managing micromanagement is to understand the reason that it is happening? Solving the problem at the root is the most effective course of action.

Each reason may require a different course of action, and certainly there may be more than one reason.

Trust is a common problem. For a variety of possible reasons, the boss may not trust that the work will get finished, or finished timely and with the appropriate quality. (Tips)

When the boss loves the work, or was previously the expert who did this job, you’ll probably benefit the most by finding ways to keep them involved.

If the root cause of micromanagement stems from insecurities, you may to find ways to reassure the boss that you are loyal, respectful, and won’t steamroll him or her.

How you manage micromanagement will also relate to your personal goals. If you decide you don’t want to support your boss, that is a different conversation.

Sometimes letting someone else have it their way (right or wrong) may feel like you are losing, but in fact, you’re winning. They’ll support you more in the future.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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