My Boss is a Control Freak

While we are editorial independent and recommend the best products through an independent review process, we may receive compensation if you click on links to partners we recommend.

Sections of this topic

    is your boss a control freakDo you have a boss that demands frequent and unnecessary reports or hovers over you to make sure you’re doing things “right” or requires you to wait for his approval on everything before you can move forward?

    Four out of five people, managers and workers alike, stated in a recent survey that have had mciro-manger bosses. Here’s are seven tips on how you can survive and even get along with a ‘control freak” boss according to “My Way or the Highway” by Harry E. Chambers.

    1. Work his agenda.
      Determine what’s really important to him and the department. Ask if you don’t know. Then work with him, not against him. to accomplish the specific goals
    2. Don’t wait to be asked for information.
      Find out what he needs to feel confident and comfortable. Then get it to him—ahead of time with a smile.
    3. Give frequent updates.
      If the micro-manager doesn’t visibly see progress, they think work is not getting done. Don’t assume but rather ask how often and in what form he wants progress reports on priority projects.
    4. Regularly review expectations.
      Micro-managers often change their focus and their priorities. Clarify your conversation agreements in a trail of memos and e-mails.
    5. Take the lead on deadlines.
      Be the first to talk—offering a timeline for when you can do a task (not when you can’t). Reassure him by showing how you will get the tasks done on that timeline.
    6. Play by the rules.
      Some micro-managers enjoy catching people in the act. Avoid being an easy target by not following policies and procedures. Just go with it unless it’s illegal or unethical.
    7. Choose your battles.
      The micro-manager will go to war on every issue. Don’t try to match him. Instead, choose the battles that are most important to you.

    Career Success Tip:

    If you see that your micro-manager boss backs off with some people more than others, then learn from the “best practices” of others. To some this might be considered groveling; to others, it’s knowing how to get along with your boss. Also see Do You Have Boss Problems?

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?