One of the best defenses against micromanagement from others and life is, in my opinion, managing yourself so well that it becomes stupidly obvious that anyone who tries to micromanage you is destined to fail, for they will clearly look like an idiot to any observer with an ounce of sense.

This internally powered effort, I think, is integral to personal freedom.


10 thoughts on “Musings

  1. They key thing to remember about others who bring their views of the world into ours is that we always have something called choice. We can always choose how we will think or feel at any given time, regardless of what anyone else thinks or says. Also, there is a context of when someone asks people to for example, give a review, etc., they can listen or read, and then make up their minds if anyone else might have something that can benefit us. Remember that we do not learn much in life without assistance of others at some point in our young lives. Someone else definitely teaches us how to talk and ask for things we need, what the words mean, and how to get up and walk so that we can get the things we want and need. As we grow older, we share what we have learned from others – parents, relatives, loved ones, teachers, doctors, etc. It is a natural part of being a human being, but it doesn’t mean that anyone else needs to do whatever we share. Sharing is a human tendency. Yes, there are people who think that they know it all, and hopefully our discerning minds can recognize that tendency and go on with our own ways and thoughts. But at the same time, there are people who come along, and somehow they turn on a light in the universe for us, and that can be a good thing.

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  2. I agree that honing your own performance is all you can do with micro-managers.

    As Anne says, when we are learning, we need the details made clear, and adjustments taught to gain a new skill. Aside from that, it seems you may be referring to supervisors in a work environment, or a parent in any environment.

    I’m not sure there is an answer to someone not having an ounce of good sense or an observer without enough knowledge and experience to appreciate what you do right. Some people are just that way, no matter what; there motivation and personal safety comes from “control,” being right, and “looking good,” Hoping that they will notice may not work for you, because they don’t notice, they just instruct, order, demand, etc.

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    • Right. In the first world, where survival isn’t as much of an imminent issue, I advocate pursuing extreme competency, which increases the odds of becoming more attractive as an employee to other companies, or being able to start one’s own company. I actually think micro-management is an essential ability; trust must be earned, and it starts with small steps. As the troop or employee, however, I say earn as much trust as quickly as possible through competence, then take advantage of the resultant array of options.


  3. BTW: asking a micro-manager to demonstrate and show you exactly how and why to do things, every time, tends to wear them down. “Oh, could you show me how to do that the right way? Is that the result you want? Any time my work does not meet your standards, I really need your help to make the adjustments that would make you proud.” (One does need to guard against any hint of sarcasm doing this;)

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    • Again, I’d say it depends on the context. But yes, I agree with your underlying premise—some micro-managers seek to run from their own insecurity by consistently wallowing in the guise of authority.


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