Dealing with the nitpicker
Having a person in the office who is a micromanager can get real old, real quick. In the past, I have worked with perfectionists and control freaks. One of the biggest things to remember is that you are not going to change that person. All you can do is to change how you respond. I’d like to offer some tips for handling your office micro-manager.
How to handle it
- Set your boundaries.
I once worked with someone who wanted to proofread each item multiple times. My job did not allow me that kind of time, and I had to let this person spend her time making everything perfect.
- Recognize that a micro-manager is not trying to make your life more difficult.
Someone who expects perfection may just want to be professional and make sure the job is done right. This passion for the job is great, but it can be aggravating when not presented carefully.
- Ask questions about why the “control freak” wants it done a certain way.
Explain your method and how it fits into your job. There may be extenuating factors one of you (or even both) may not be aware of. It’s okay to voice an opinion if it’s done with respect instead of being defensive.
- Understand that you may have to do the task as the micro-manager expects.
If you can’t beat’em, join them.
- Ask for mediation if necessary.
This may not always work if it’s the boss who is micro-managing the team. Accept the decision of the mediator and move on with your job.
In the end
I’m a perfectionist, but I try to be very cautious about making other people conform to my standards. It is a headache to work for someone who won’t let you find your own methods.
Check yourself to make sure you aren’t micro-managing your team. Set performance standards and let people find their own way.