Kim Scott Radical Candor podcast

Podcast Episode 13: Help! My Boss is a Micromanager

If you’ve ever had a micromanager boss, you know how frustrating and demotivating it is to be micromanaged. You feel powerless — what can you do? Kim and Russ have some advice for these situations.

Listen now:

In This Episode

Kim and Russ agree, being micromanaged feels terrible. Russ tells a story about a boss who was micromanaging him. Even though the boss wouldn’t show up to 1:1s with Russ and didn’t know what Russ and his team were doing, he tried to be very prescriptive about the goals that the team was trying to hit. It didn’t end well — Russ left the team.

Kim also shares a story about a micromanager boss, someone who was questioning and rethinking everything she did. It made her feel like she should just let him do the work in the first place, so she did.

I don’t really feel like you’re pulling your weight.

She talks about how feedback helped her figure this out with her boss and improve their working relationship.

This week we’ve got a listener question from someone wondering if micromanagement is ever warranted. Kim and Russ share their thoughts.

Everyone makes mistakes. Just because you’re making mistakes, does not mean that your boss needs to micromanage you. What they need to do is give you feedback.

Russ talk about the SCARF model from David Rock’s Your Brain At Work. When bosses micromanage you, they rob you of autonomy, which your brain perceives as a threat.

The Candor Checklist

The episode ends, as always, with specific tips you can start using right away. Here are some steps you can take if you have a micromanager boss.

Tip 1: Set clear goals.

Tip 2: Ask questions.

Tip 3: Push back.

Tip 4: Don’t forget to quit.

Make sure to listen to the episode for the full explanations of these tips.

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