Micromanaging/bullying from boss, how do you deal?

posted 3 months ago in Career
Post # 2
Member
13013 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I had a boss like this a few years ago.  He also had favoritism issues, which made it even more fun.  I made it just over a year at the job before I chose to switch employers.  Best decision I ever made. 

Post # 3
Member
1426 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

I had a boss like that for a few months. Went to HR, but ultimately decided to resign. I’m probably not much help, but…life is too short :/.

Post # 6
Member
1496 posts
Bumble bee

In the past, I’ve “managed up” and have micromanaged a micromanaging boss.  Basically, I overwhelmed this boss with a flood of daily status updates and proactively anticipated eveyrthing she was going to try and micromanage.  As an example, by the time she got to work, she already had some status reports and additional reporting/updates in her in-box.  Took the wind out of her sails, and she stopped trying to micromanage me as I’d made it clear it wasn’t necessary.

I don’t necessarily recommend this tactic, but she pissed me off so much that I did it partly out of spite. It could backfire on you, so it’s risky.  

Post # 8
Member
1426 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

mirabelle007 :  you’re welcome! I’m sorry you’re going through this. Regardless of how you decide to proceed, I’d document everything. Keep copies everything. If he’s a bully, he may try and turn this around on you (mine did and it didn’t work out for him. But then I resigned). Alternatively, do you have the option to move out from under this manager? That’s usually my preference but I wasn’t able to in my situation (I reported directly to a vp).

Post # 11
Member
2766 posts
Sugar bee

Do you have an example of how your boss is bullying? Since you say they aren’t like this in person, is it possible that you are reading tone in the email that wasn’t intended? I used to have a supervisor who was not known for using lots of cute fluffy language in their written correspondence. There was no please or thank you. Just a lot of matter of fact, to the point, get this done. She was a busy woman and didn’t have time to mince words or be misunderstood. And sometimes it felt like she must think I am an idiot. When the truth was she was just busy and using curt but professional language. Once clarified in person it was clear there wasn’t any ill intent.  And once I learned to read her emails in a perfectly neutral tone and not assume to know her intent, I was a lot happier and our working relationship improved.

Additionally, if they are brand new to this role and or department, have you considered that they are still learning their job and their job is to know what you are doing in your job? And that they are also likely under a probationary period where they are under intense scrutiny for their review themselves? So what may seem like micromanaging is them being involved because the best way to learn and prove they know what is happening in their department is to be involved? Also depending on how lax their predecessor was, they may have been given guidance to be more involved. I have two friends at work, one who became a supervisor of an area new to them and one who worked under them and had been in their own position for awhile.  And the friend who works under then was very frustrated because they felt micromanaged on a job they had been doing for years and felt like they weren’t good enough anymore because as a new supervisor the other friend wanted updates on everything that was being worked on. New supervisor friend was just trying to learn the job because she received a zero guidance from the prior supervisor and it turns out that the prior supervisor was so lax that there were things that were not well documented and had dropped the ball on.

The point is, take a beat to ensure you are not ascribing ill-intent and tone first, especially if that isn’t how they are in your personal actions with them.  In my experience, at least half of all written  communication issues are due to misinterpreting or ascribing tone.

Post # 12
Member
1492 posts
Bumble bee

annabananabee :  I got reprimanded very recently for my “tone” in an email.  I am like the person you described, curt but professional.  In the area I live, being so direct is not really the culture.  I’m from CA and I’m not used to the passive stuff.  I try to be very clear with anyone I’m working with about my communication style.  It helps a little, but obviously there are still times it’s read as a tone.

OP, I’m like PP my strategy in the work place is the be awesome and take things in stride and make them all want to be me πŸ˜€  It’s sort of like building up my own ego so their bs doesn’t bring me down.  Or at least brings me down to a place where I’m still engaged.  I stay on top of things, anticpate needs, take things on and deliver, or say NO if I know that I cannot follow through.  Boundaries.

Post # 14
Member
131 posts
Blushing bee

Dealing with the same thing. I went  over his head and told the VP what was going on. I don’t care if it backfires, and am now looking for another job. It’s not worth it.  It’s to the point where my confidence is so shot that I have no faith in my work and I dread going to the office. 

Post # 15
Member
1801 posts
Buzzing bee

mirabelle007 :  I have a boss that goes through waves of micromanaging to the other extreme– which is complete hands off to the point of having no idea what is going on. The inconsistency makes for a tough work environment, because the goal posts are always changing. One day, there’s zero interest in the project and the next there’s a red marker to all the work I’ve done and meetings on top of meetings to discuss the very finite details of my day, my plans, etc. I’ve been the subject of some very bullish behavior, aggresiveness in email and in person to have it switched to being like we’re best buds! There’s zero consistency and overall tact– and IMO,  it’s a manipulation tactic to always keep you on edge.

It’s exhausting because I never know what to expect. I actually went to HR about it to get some feedback and advice. I’m new to my company, so technically not allowed to change departments just yet– but HR will make an exception if another role comes available that is a better fit.

 

My advice is to document, document, document and stand up for yourself. sometimes that is a challenge for me because I’m very tough on myself and have always had a “suck it up” attitude when it comes to differing work styles. But when your boss crosses a line, sometimes it IS the hill to die on to drive that point home that it’s not ok.

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