Here's How to Deal With a Micromanager at the Office

Plus, how to pull back on your own controlling habits.

Chances are, you've worked for a boss (or currently work for one) who hovers over your shoulder, checks in constantly, and tries to controls every move the company makes. On this week's "I Want to Like You" with Real Simple editor Kristin van Ogtrop, the experts discuss controlling bosses and how to respond to specific behaviors. She's joined by Bucky Keady, VP of Talent Management for Time Inc. (Real Simple's parent company) and Barbara Pachter, the president of Pachter and Associates, as well as author of The Essentials of Business Etiquette. While micromanagement doesn't necessarily make for a good business strategy, Keady explains that it does help junior employees establish structure, and as Pachter points out, it helps to keep problematic employees in line.

Pachter also answers specific questions about how to handle your own tendencies to micromanage—such as the feeling that you have to micromanage, or else everything will go wrong. Pachter's advice: Don't catastrophize. If there is a problem with an employee, be as specific as possible when identifying the problem, and offer concrete suggestions to improve. To develop a plan for improvement, Keady suggests having a conversation in an informal, comfortable setting, developing actionable steps, and setting up a follow-up. If you're feeling frustrated because you're being micromanaged by your boss, listen below for the solution, and don't forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes!