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Dealing with a micromanager

(10 Posts)
TedAndLola Thu 18-Jun-15 16:58:02

I'm looking for practical advice on how to deal with a micromanager.

I'm the only person in my company that has my role. I don't want to give my real job but, just to make things easier, let's say I have sole responsibility in the company for putting content on the website. Although the information may come from my colleagues, who have technical knowledge that I don't, I am responsible for making sure it is grammatically correct, presented well, and so on. Most people hate this job so they are very happy for me to write everything and send it to them for a review (or addition of technical bits) before it goes up, trusting me to do the final edit.

But then there is John. John is a classic micromanager. When the content is anything to do with him and his projects he wants to write it all himself and then he doesn't like me editing it. If I want to change anything, even a single word, I have to run it past him. His English and writing is not as good as mine but, although he acknowledges that, he is always resistant when I want to make changes.

While I am working on any of John's content he will be at my desk or sending emails 20 times a day. He must know exactly what I'm doing and why. He also gets very over-involved and, even if it's just a quick paragraph, he has to micromanage it and have endless meetings about it.

This drives me crazy. I am very competent at my job and all my other colleagues, right up to the owners of the business, trust me to do it without constant checking and justification.

My own line manager is very laid back and gives me the autonomy I need. He is pretty much a perfect manager for me but he isn't much help in this situation. Although he supports me fully and can see that I'm struggling with John, he likes to avoid confrontation and he is quite into hierarchy - John is two grades more senior than me so, to my line manager, I should just work with his micromanagement. The company in general is not very hierarchical, this is a quirk of my line manager.

John is like this with everybody, it doesn't stem from any past issues with my work or any particular problem with me.

What would you do?

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Thu 18-Jun-15 17:15:39

You have my sympathies! I work for a Johnsophine.... watching with interest.

bellathebluebell Fri 19-Jun-15 07:33:24

Let him write the thing entirely and put it up on the website. Do not amend it.

If it's gramatically wrong, let them tell him.

ChuckBiscuits Fri 19-Jun-15 07:38:09

Do no work for him, let him do it all. If he does make errors, just print off the error, and correct it in a funky pen colour, take a copy of your corrections and leave it on his desk to amend.

Life is too short.

Muskey Fri 19-Jun-15 07:49:16

I also work for a John who I call knob head boss. my job uses excel a lot and despite the fact khb has no idea how to use excel he constantly tells me to change the figures as he believes mine are always wrong. I have shown him a number of times that his figures are wrong but he won't have it. Despite the fact I like my job when khb isn't there I am looking for a new job as I can't stand how he wants to do everything. Wishing there was a better solution for me.

bloodyteenagers Fri 19-Jun-15 08:02:38

I let mine do what they wanted.
They fucked up big time. I am now
Left alone to do my job. They are lucky to still have a job because of their cock up. But it has benefited everyone, as the person was micromanaging everyone once managers backs were turned.

flowery Fri 19-Jun-15 08:44:01

Have you actually raised it with him? How did he respond?

Do you need his sign-off before it goes on the website, or whatever it actually is?

TedAndLola Fri 19-Jun-15 14:41:08

Thanks everyone.

I think you're all right. Everything I've read says that micromanagers never change and the answer is to put up with it or leave the company. I love my job so what I really need are strategies to work with John without my blood pressure rising!

flowery - I can go above his head to get sign-off on my edit rather than his (John's boss trusts me completely). I've done this in the past but it pisses him off so he's even more controlling the next time.

I haven't actually said to him "you're micromanaging me and I don't like it, please stop" but I've said it in more diplomatic ways. He knows how I feel but, although he is a genuinely nice person who doesn't mean to upset or annoy others, he just can't help himself. He's a natural micromanager and he's always going to be that way.

I am quite friendly with a woman who used to work directly under him. She's on maternity leave right now but when she returns I'm going to grab her for a coffee and ask how she coped with John!

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Fri 19-Jun-15 19:52:25

Yes, you need to find out the secret with coffee and cake. Then come back and tell us.

vikihayden101 Mon 22-Jun-15 16:17:27

Why not suggest to him that you are trying to work more independently and would really appreciate him helping you out by letting you to try the editing on your own and then getting his opinion before it goes live onto the website.

I went to a leadership and management course that told us people respond well to being asked this kind of 'favour' as they then feel like they have assisted in your success when you go on to do well. This could then win him over to be a bit more relaxed with you, but also gets him out of your hair to get on with your job?

Would love to know how you get on!

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