“Dear Dee…” – Boss trying to micromanage? How to stay calm during an argument.

by Donna Rustigian Mac, “Dear Dee…” Advice Columnist

Boss trying to micromanage? How to stay calm during an argument. Here’s your communication and relationship advice for the week!

Dear Dee – Episode 15

Well hello—it’s Dee…with your communication advice for the week…so you can speak your truth, be clear, forthright and influential. Let’s create healthy human connections….and trusted relationships in your personal and professional life.  

Listen to my advice, by clicking on this audio – or read it, below!

Dear Dee,

My boss has been keeping a close eye on me at work-though I have never done anything to upset them, and I have never slacked off before. I’m getting tired of the constant skepticism. How do I communicate with my boss that I need them to back off a little and I don’t appreciate their actions without them getting upset with me?


Dear D.D.,

It sounds like you’re being micromanaged so the first thing you need to understand is that you can’t control your boss, you can only control yourself.

With that said, be cognizant of the fact that your boss needs reassurance. So, stay calm and slowly and clearly tell them what you’re doing, how you’re doing it and what your timelines are. You might want to take a couple of minutes to do that every day.

And then let go and get to work. If that’s not enough and your boss continues to look over your shoulder to question everything you are doing, consider a candid conversation.

You could begin by asking them to evaluate your overall performance. Who knows, you may learn something new—something you can improve. You could also ask if they think you have what you need to excel and grow in your position. If the answer is yes, you could say something like, “thanks for your trust in me”.

If none of this helps, you may need what we call “radically candid” conversation. Tell them you know you could be more productive, save time, have less stress, if you had more autonomy. 

Your boss would really benefit from understanding how micromanagement wastes their time and detracts from your productivity and morale. The wisest companies often address this problem by having employees evaluate their bosses—just like employees are evaluated.

Dear Dee,

How do you control yourself when you’re angry in an argument, so you don’t say something too harsh?

Courtney in Cumberland

Dear Courtney,

I want you to take a few deep breaths…then take a minute and think about a recent argument you’ve had. Did you ever say something you regret? Recalling this is an effective way to learn how to stay calm in the moment…so you won’t have to deal with regrets in the future.

Also, remember there are three sides to every conflict…your side, their side and the “third” side. Ask yourself what else is being affected through this argument. Is it your entire company? Your entire family? Or the important relationship you have with this person?

Recalling your third side often helps you keep your cool. It helps you understand what’s most important—even more important than who’s right and who’s wrong.

Communicating effectively, through conflict is tricky. Walking away to find immediate relief is usually not the best solution. It’s usually better to stay, listen deeply to the other person, even if you totally disagree.


Dear Dee is published every week. To send your “Dear Dee,” question – in complete confidence – just email: [email protected] – Put “Dear Dee” in the subject line. Please keep your information private in not identifying specific people – and sign your note with your initials or as you would like it to appear – such as “Perplexed in Providence”.

This is Dee, creating healthy human connections through high level effective communication. You can find me at That’s the letter i…Voice