The company hired you six months ago to work creatively and independently. Suddenly in the last two weeks, your boss has asked you to meet one-on-one each morning to go over a detailed task list for the day, following up with requests on your progress. What went wrong, and what is the etiquette for navigating the issue of a micromanaging boss? First of all, it’s important to determine the reason(s) you are suddenly feeling controlled.
Are you falling short in an area of your job description?
It’s not your boss’ duty to remind you what you’re supposed to be doing on a daily, or hourly basis. Your work is a reflection of their effort, and if you are under-performing, you will likely notice a change in their approach. When you aren’t delivering what you promised, your boss will see a red flag and feel the need to adjust the level of attention spent managing you.
If this is the case, make things right by consistently providing the requested work before it’s due. Ask questions and pay special care to your job responsibilities. After a while, a level of trust will be re-established and the number of check-ins will subside, much to your relief. Stay positive, be proactive, and remain focused.
Thankfully, this is not as difficult as you may think. Observe their work habits, and contemplate whether your own may be off-putting. Do they want you to email questions or knock on their door? Notice which characteristics they are more likely to admire and make necessary changes in your behavior. The goal is to match their style, mode of communication, and work ethic as much as possible.
How to handle it:
Know what to prioritize. Ask your boss for a list of tasks in order of priority. If you find they are consistently unhappy with your first round of work, learn by trial and error and request a review meeting. Go over details and goals before jumping into the next project. It will take time to build back trust, but once they feel confident in your abilities, you will regain your freedom.
Build a sense of reliance. Your actions speak volumes! Show eagerness with your projects and work duties. Share your plan of attack with your supervisor and get potential issues on their radar. They’ll feel more secure, and their assurance in you will soar.
Request candid feedback. Listen for any issues that may have shaped their perception of you. Asking for their guidance shows you are committed and earnestly want to improve.
Is the job worth it? If you have tried all of the above and the relationship is none the better, it might be time to consider your options. Weigh the pros and cons of a job transition. Your overall contentment and work satisfaction should rank high on your personal priority list.
For more of my business etiquette tips, check out my article, 8 Destructive Workplace Personalities, via The Huffington Post.