How to Tell Your Boss to Stop Doing Your Job

Your boss is a micromanager. That stinks. Here’s how to deal.

Published on May. 21, 2024
How to Tell Your Boss to Stop Doing Your Job
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In my pre-entrepreneurial career, I never felt my managers gave me the opportunity to truly shine and display my strengths at the office. Nearly every job I held came with a manager who attempted to do my job for me, even though they didn’t have the skills I possessed to do the job well. After running into this situation so many times, I quit corporate America because I was fed up with the micromanagement, not to mention the boredom and the burnout.

4 Steps to Get Your Boss Out of Your Way

  1. Don’t ignore the problem.
  2. Remember that the issue is with your boss, not you.
  3. Have a conversation with your boss about the situation.
  4. If it doesn’t resolve in a month or two, consider finding a new job.

A whopping 82 percent of Americans say they’d quit a job because of a bad manager, according to a GoodHire report. If you’re frustrated with an insecure, controlling boss who doesn’t know when to back off, set boundaries and get back on track to doing what you were hired to do, and more importantly, for your manager to do the same. 

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Realize That Your Boss Is the Problem

It’s time you take the pressure off of yourself and recognize that your boss has their own issues and shortcomings, which could explain why they are constantly involved in what you’re doing. Plus, let’s not forget that they also have a boss who they have to report to. 

Even though not all managers deserve to be leaders, be empathetic and understand that they are also trying to do their best. Who knows, they might be doing to you what is being done to them. Chances are they may not even realize that they are stepping on your toes. 

When you apply this mindset, you’re able to separate and sometimes even get rid of your disdain for your manager and feel less miserable in your day to day. We’re all going through something at work and have to do things that we don’t always want to do. 

This shift also reminds you about what you like about your job so you can turn a negative into a positive. Stop trying to change your manager, and focus only on what you can control, which is how you view and think of your boss. Don’t forget that when you are frustrated and angry with someone, trying to figure out why they are the way they are only makes you suffer more. It wasn’t until later in my career that I realized this, and that stressing about my manager’s qualities wasn’t worth my time or energy. 


Have a Conversation With Your Boss

The longer you wait to have a conversation with your boss about their over involvement, the worse the situation and your resentment for them will get. You’ll eventually reach a boiling point and could say or do something that you regret and can’t take back.

You can approach your manager in a way that is professional yet showcases your annoyance with the crossed boundaries and your eagerness to work together to find a solution. 

Start by remaining calm. State your main talking points clearly and respectfully without blaming anyone. That said, be as specific as possible in detailing what’s preventing you from performing at your best. You can say something like: “I want to talk to you about something that’s happened at work and how it’s affected me. I know you are a supervisor who welcomes feedback and supports employees.”

Work does involve conflict management and resolution. The longer you delay this talk, the weaker the position you’ll be in. Working for a micromanager long term will only hurt you in your career and negatively affect your growth professionally. Do yourself a favor and have the conversation. 


Don’t Feel the Need to Prove Anything

The tendency when working for a micromanager is to try to show that you are an independent worker and are able to deliver every single time on your own. I tried this and nine times out of 10, it worked against me. 

This never pans out because it completely ignores the reason your boss is micromanaging in the first place. It all stems from your manager feeling like they aren’t successful, they lack control and they are not aware of the work you’re doing. 

If you think you can solve the issue by going rogue and just doing your job without communicating with your boss, think again.

If you think you can solve the issue by going rogue and just doing your job without communicating with your boss, think again. This will make them trust you less than before. You don’t need to go above and beyond to meet their unrealistic expectations of over communicating and needing to share updates 24/7. But try your hardest to avoid any temptation to prove yourself and look for recognition from a boss who despises the unknown. I do suggest that you subtly remind your boss about your strengths and that their tactics are only making the team as a whole underperform. 

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Consider Quitting if Things Don’t Improve 

Micromanagers are at every level of an organization. This never goes away, regardless of your skillset or experience. Micromanagement is a byproduct of fear, and that can be something that knows no bounds. 

If you’ve done everything you can to address the problem and your boss continues to overstep, then it’s time to part ways with your manager as well as the company that allows this behavior to fester. The stress of this will eventually become too much to bear and will harm your mental health. 

No job and no company deserves your talents and dedication if they are only going to be draining and hinder your growth and development. If you don’t see results after a month or two, put in your notice and don’t look back. 

To be sure, employee autonomy is something managers and teams are struggling with in this era of hybrid and remote work. Some managers overcompensate by overcommunicating, micromanaging and requiring workers to participate in pointless touch bases that just waste everyone’s time. 

Still, hybrid and remote work has been going on long enough that bosses should have figured out by now that the best approach is to delegate and empower their direct reports. That makes them look good and it makes them look like leaders. If that’s not your boss, then maybe they don’t deserve you as an employee. The decision is yours to make

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