How to Deal With a Boss That Rides You & Nit Picks

by Johnny Kilhefner

A manager who rides and nitpicks your every move is potentially threatening your productivity. A boss who oversteps the bounds of respect is creating difficulties instead of solving problems. If your boss is constantly giving you a hard time, you don't have to sit there and take it. Take the right measures to get the problem manager off of your back, and you'll have the space you need at work.

Avoid Taking It Personally

When your boss is giving you a hard time, don't take it personally. If you do, you may lash out, adding hostility to an already volatile situation. Chances are, if you become visibly frustrated from his nitpicking, he'll spend more time on you, thinking your behavior needs to be corrected. The important thing to remember is that nitpicking bosses probably do the same with all of their employees, and you're not a special case.

Evaluate Yourself

Before you take action, make sure your performance isn't warranting your boss to ride you. Just because a boss appears to be micromanaging doesn't necessarily mean it's so -- perhaps he's simply trying to get more out of you. Review your past performance and ensure you're performing up to standard. Before giving the boss a hard time, make sure the hard time he's giving you isn't due to sloppy performance.

Do the Best You Can

People who nitpick and micromanage at every opportunity are averse to excess information. Do the best you can on your work without adding to the boss's fears and show him you take your work just as seriously as he does. If you keep putting out your best and show you're a self-starter, your nitpicking boss may just leave you alone and stray over to pick on someone else.

Go Above Your Boss's Head

If you're afraid your boss's attitude isn't a matter of you performing less than admirably and that he continues to ride you even when you've proven that you take your work seriously, then it's time to go over his head. Talk to your boss's supervisor. Explain your situation diplomatically, discussing how your boss is affecting not only your growth but the company's. Instead of demanding something be done, ask for guidance. You may just find your overbearing boss problem melts away.

About the Author

Johnny Kilhefner is a writer with a focus on technology, design and marketing. Writing for more than five years, he has contributed to Writer's Weekly, PopMatters, Bridged Design and APMP, among many other outlets.

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