Want to know how to deal with coworkers who watch your every move and jump on any chance to make you look bad?
This is one of the most annoying and toxic coworker behaviors, nobody likes to be micromanaged or have someone watching over them.
However, when you know how to deal with people like this within the workplace, it makes your life (and job) easier, and they’ll end up realizing they’re not achieving anything!
Why Do Some Coworkers Watch Your Every Move?
It’s horrible having someone watch over you as you work.
It makes you feel uneasy, you might double guess your decisions, and it’s obvious that they have an anterior motive.
There isn’t necessarily one answer as to why someone does this, and it’s hard to tell why without knowing more about the person.
You’re going to need to take a close look at how the person is behaving to better them, but I can tell you it’s more than likely due to one of the following reasons:
- They are jealous of your position, job title, or how well you do your work
- They are feeling threatened by your skills or abilities
- They are incompetent and worried you’ll expose them
- They are paranoid and think everyone is out to get them
- They are simply a horrible person!
Whatever the reason, you don’t want to let this person get to you or make you feel bad about yourself!
What Should You Do if a Coworker Is Nitpicking Your Work?
If someone is constantly nitpicking your work, it’s important to confront them about it.
You can try asking why they’re so concerned with what you’re doing or how you’re doing it.
It’s possible that they simply want to help and are coming from a good place. But more often than not, people who do this are trying to make you feel bad about yourself or catch you slipping up.
In either case, it’s important to talk openly to them about it so that you can come to a resolution and at least make them aware that you know they are doing it.
If the person is truly just trying to help, then you can work together to find a way for them to do so without making you feel uncomfortable.
However, if the person is coming from a place of malicious intent, then you can do something about it.
You might be able to shut them down by being assertive and making it clear that their behavior is not acceptable.
However, if they don’t stop nitpicking and watching you, you might have to take the matter to someone higher, such as their boss.
Why Do Some Bosses Micromanage Their Staff?
Micromanaging is worse than being watched closely. When someone is micromanaging another person they’re trying to control every little thing they do.
It’s typically a behavior carried out by bosses, managers, etc, as they’re the ones with the authority to be able to do so.
As to why some bosses micromanage employees; some bosses do this because they’re worried that things aren’t being done properly.
They might be worried about a certain project or task not being completed, or they might think that someone on their team is slacking off.
In some cases, it’s simply a matter of the boss not trusting their employees to do the job correctly.
And, in some cases, it’s simply a character flaw of a manager. They can’t help micromanaging their staff as it’s something they feel compelled to do or get a good deal of satisfaction from doing.
How to Deal With a Micromanaging Boss
The best way – and possibly the only way – to deal with a micromanaging boss is to be upfront with them about it and talk about it.
You should try telling them that their behavior is making you feel uncomfortable or that you don’t appreciate being micromanaged.
It’s possible they’re not even aware that they’re doing it, so informing them of how you feel might be all it takes to get them to change their behavior.
However, if they’re aware of what they’re doing and make it clear they will continue to do it anyway, you might have to take the matter to your HR department.
Hopefully, you’ll get the support you need. It’s not a nice situation to find yourself in though, I can appreciate that.
Having a good working relationship with a manager, boss, or anyone you report to is vital to how well you’re able to perform in your role.
I just hope your boss is professional and mature enough to take a step back and see how their actions are affecting you, and do something about it!
It’s not pleasant to have someone constantly watching your every move or micromanaging you, but there are ways to deal with it.
If you’re struggling with a coworker who is always watching you or a boss who is micromanaging you, I hope this article has given you some ideas on how to handle the situation.
The important thing is that you are able to confront the situation and go through the correct steps within your organization.
You should never suffer in silence and simply put up with this form of toxic coworker or manager behavior.
Image credits – Photo by TheStandingDesk on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.