Health & Medical Self-Improvement

Management by stories – How to manage Micro-Managers

How do I tell my boss that his style of micro management is just not working out with me?

Rather things are getting worse by the day, the more I resist overly and or covertly his style is becoming further over bearing. So much so that it has started impacting my performance and if the mid term review dialogue was any indications, the chances of my getting my performance linked variable pay is at a high risk.

Typically like you have, many suggestions keep flowing in on how to handle him
  • You need to confront him upfront  that you are not liking it and that it's impacting your performance
  • Better start looking out for a change
  • " carry on and don't complain " the market is not that hot outside
  • What guarantee that you will not find the same style in your next assignment

Well, when advices are aplenty and the choices are multiple, that's when you feel how better off one is when without suggestions!

That was Anand's predicament on that Sunday morning when he went for his hair cut.

He knew he has an issue with his boss and he also knew that he could not carry on for too long like this except at the cost of hurting himself.  The problem with the suggestions from his well wishers seemed more theory than really workable. At least that's what he thought as he sat through his turn at the salon, keeping the latest film magazine as an alibi for running his thoughts over.


"Good morning sir, how would you like the hair to be cut, short, medium …"

"I want it medium, on the sides, a bit close and I want a straight line behind "

"Ok sir, can you remove your specs please "

"I also wanted to know if you are going to use the scissors or machine "

"I use scissors, that's more comfortable for me and people have found it better also "

"I do not want my hair to be shooting up making it difficult to comb, you know, you have to be cutting it smooth and even …….and also ……"

At this stage, the hair dresser stops Anand in between his instructions.

" sir , you have told me that you want a medium cut and also how it should be at the back and the sides , please leave it to me , do not get into too much of details , that makes my work difficult . At the end of it, if you are not satisfied you do not have to pay anything. The cost will be on me "

The upfront, assertive and confident statement of the hairdresser, taking personal responsibility for his job, almost got Anand on his feet.

He experienced the "Eureka effect ".

"Ok man, I will not disturb you, please carry on I am in a hurry "


As if some magical transformation has happened Anand experienced a new energy in him and he could see himself sitting now more upright on his set and in front of the mirror

This guy , was so clear , upfront , confident , could look into my eyes while he spoke , took personal responsibility for the accomplishment of the task and was even willing to take the risk  of facing the consequences ……

Anand had found the right answer to his issues with his Boss and the approach pathways to address his dilemma.

What more he could have bargained for!


"Sir, it's all over, I am getting the mirror in a moment "

Anand had not been paying attention to his hair cut all along when he heard the hair dresser and no sooner, he was shown the mirror from the back and the sides …… just to check if they were to specifications …….

A broad smile was the appraisers feedback as Anand picked up his specs and stared more at his confident face than the neat setting of his hair

"Man, keep this and what's your name "Anand pulled out a fifty rupee note much to the delight of the hairdresser.

"Thank you sir, you can call me John, you are always welcome next time, it will be my pleasure to serve you "


As he was driving back, he thought of the hairdresser and his thoughts went across his Boss. He remembered his monthly review meeting scheduled on Monday and he exactly knew how he is going to handle his "Micro manager ". You never know "when Harvard comes home" un-solicited and drops those pearls of wisdom like life lessons.

Anand was truly a confident and cheerful man!! . The rest is HIS –STORY!!

Meantime, our John not only earned his fixed pay for the day, but also a lucrative sum of variable pay!

Mohan M Prasad

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