Makarios Consulting Blog

The Big Talk: When All Else Fails

You’ve tried to set boundaries. You’ve proposed potential solutions and workarounds. But the Micromanager is still, well, micromanaging.

Before you write that resignation letter or – we don’t recommend this – quit on the spot, we suggest you try a few additional options.

Every situation is different. Maybe you’re in your dream company in a position you’ve worked hard to attain. Or you might be just starting out in the workforce and want to make your mark. No matter the circumstances in which you find yourself, here are three last-ditch scenarios to reach the Micromanager:

The Advocate.   Is there a trusted colleague with whom you can share your concerns about the Micromanager? If so, explain your predicament and – this is critical — potential solutions. Ask your colleague if he or she would consider going to bat for you and expressing your concerns about the difficult work environment to the Micromanager. An effective advocate can be someone with whom the Micromanager has worked with in the past and has come to respect.

The Sit-Down. Maybe your advocate can’t get through to the Micromanager. Or, maybe you haven’t been in the current company or position long enough to approach any colleagues to help. Whatever your circumstance, it might be time for “The Talk.” Sit down with the Micromanager and explain that you take your job seriously and want to be effective. Explain that you simply cannot work under the current circumstances.

Organize your discussion points around facts – specific events that you have experienced in working for your boss and the impact his/her behavior have had on you.   Position your discussion as a reflection of your strong desire to perform well for the company and to help the company succeed.   Ask your boss for help in enabling you to be as effective as you can be.

The outcome of this talk will depend on your relationship with your boss, his or her personality, and how strongly you feel about your position in the company.

Exit Stage Right. In some cases, the Micromanager has no intention or interest in hearing what you have to say. And, that is unfortunate because that leader will likely continue to experience high turnover. In some cases, you might talk to the Micromanager about moving into a different position because this one isn’t working. If that isn’t an option, then we recommend looking for a new position while still employed. Unfortunately, there are times when leaving the company is the best option.