My manager has been in my shorts for the past month. I have never had any issues and in the past 3 years she’s never acted this way. Any advice? A.D., New York, NY
If the quality of your work hasn’t changed, recognize that this behavior is about her, not you. This is important because you don’t want to be perceived as defensive when you have a conversation with her.
Try to understand what is driving her behavior. Does she have a new manager? Are her peers getting promoted? Did the company miss its forecast or does it have a more aggressive forecast than it did in the past? Figure out how you can best address her concerns. Ideally you’ll be able to identify things to help you help her.
For instance, if she has a new manager, do due diligence to get a sense of what her new manager values. Let’s say you find out he comes from a finance background. You can assume he’s comfortable with numbers. Bring this to your manager’s attention and brainstorm what you can do to increase his confidence in your team. Perhaps you should create a 1 pager with key numbers for her to use when looping him in. Or maybe you need to switch up how you report results in order to preempt his questions.
When you start a conversation like this, your manager will automatically be reassured that you’re both on the same page and you should see her back off on her micromanaging. During your brainstorm with her, you’ll get insight into what is really bothering her, which will help you manage up.