How to deal with a helicopter boss

They hover around you. They are hardly known to empower or trust you to make the smallest of decisions, making it highly impossible for you to remain engaged and motivated. You may enjoy your work but, somehow, cannot stand your manager’s style and attitude. All of these signs point to having a helicopter boss. Management, definitely, is not a smooth process. It takes careful thought and consideration for being a pro in management which requires efforts and feedback. Read on to know how to collaborate with such a micro-manager.

1) Do your job well. Be punctual. Meet deadlines. Be productive. Make clients happy. Show her/him that you’re trustworthy and thorough with your work.

2) Seek constant feedback. Muster the courage and speak to your boss. Frame your discussion in a way that makes it clear that you want to improve. Be positive and show respect. Find out what is expected of you and how you are actually performing.

3) Be proactive in communication. Don’t wait for your manager to ask how things are proceeding. Instead, keep them informed. Share regular reports of the work done. Mark them on important emails. This will reassure them that everything is under control.

4) Help your manager delegate tasks more effectively by prompting them to provide all the information you need. Teach them to delegate tasks by explaining that it liberates them to focus on much more important tasks.

5) Volunteer for taking up additional projects. Demonstrate that you can handle the responsibility. When a task goes well, thank them for the opportunity and their hands-off approach. For the next time, they will remember how well you did without any constant inputs.

6) Find the source of your managers’ behaviour. Be it the fear of failure, performance pressure, or knowing only the traditional way of management, the reasons may vary. Have an open conversation with them and find out the motivation behind their behaviour.

7) No one likes to be micromanaged including micro-managers themselves. Work closely with your micro-manager to modify their style of management. Provide them with a new approach or technique to get a job done

8) Micro-managers hate to let go of their control, a typical subconscious pattern rooted deep in their insecurity. Instead of viewing your micro-manager as a maniac, understand the root of their behaviour. That might enable you to let go of the resentment you have nursed within.

9) Anticipate their micromanaging tendencies. Have effective responses ready for their granular-level criticisms. Wow them to the extent that they feel comfortable in a hands-off approach.

10) When you anticipate deviation from the common norm of working, consult your manager. This will infuse greater trust and confidence. Ask for feedback. This will demonstrate your problem-solving skills along with your openness to feedback.

So, the next time you get a helicopter boss, try these techniques on how to handle them, instead of looking for new jobs in Bengaluru.

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Richard Morris

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