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Ask A Therapist: Advice on Dealing With a Micromanaging Boss!

Career, Ask a Therapist
3 min read

Dear Therapist: I am being severely micromanaged at work. Suddenly our SVP is involved in team meetings, wants weekly updates, and needs to approve all of our projects. This is new and it’s really becoming a bottleneck. I’m manager level and our director says there’s nothing we can do! It’s seriously a problem. I don’t want to overstep but do you think there’s a world where a junior employee (me!) can say something to an SVP? Or is it time to start looking for another job? 

Frame therapist Regina Guzman weighs in…
Most people do not like to be micromanaged, so it makes perfect sense that this shift in power is not sitting well with you. Being micromanaged can create feelings of anxiousness, unease, stress, fear, and doubt. When management micromanages, it can be due to a lack of understanding about the job, a need to be in control or a lack of trust. 

It sounds like the SVP may not be focused on what you are doing but how the company is running. Focus on what you are in control of while being aware of your needs as an employee. Honoring your needs while meeting their expectations will be the goal.

With the next opportunity speak with your SVP on a level that is approachable and purposeful. Your goal is to get them to be confident in your work so that they can focus on other things.

  • Review the duties to confirm which tasks are due daily, weekly, and monthly and on which specific date. The more you are aware of their expectations, the easier it will be to meet them (or even surpass them).
  • Communicate challenges, advocate for yourself when needed and gently challenge when necessary.
  • Stick to deadlines and much as possible and when you cannot meet these deadlines relay this to management so that they can problem solve, delegate, or get more help.

Being authentic, assertive, and informative will be your best approach. Better understanding and improved confidence in your work may help redirect management away from you and onto other areas of the company. 

If this position is causing harm to your mental health and well- being, then it would be a good time to look at other options. Ultimately if the position is not in alignment with your values, consider other opportunities. It’s important to honor our needs and stick to our core values. I hope this was helpful! 


About the Therapist: Regina Guzman, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional based in Claremont, California. Regina specializes in working with emerging adults with depression, anxiety, and trauma with mind/body/spirit/nature approach. Explore her Frame profile here to learn more about her approach and to schedule a free intro call.  


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** This series is not suited for people who are in immediate crisis. If you are in crisis, please call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or contact Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.