Help! My Boss Won’t Quit Doing My Job

My boss used to do what my position is. He was promoted to a manager and moved to my office. He has not let go of his ability to do his old job. He is doing stuff without my knowledge and having people go to him for stuff that is my job. I do not know how to deal with it. It's very upsetting. Please help me.

The Team Doc Says…

This is such a common problem. Hey! Bosses out there. Quit doing your team members' work. You were hired to lead and manage, not to do the tasks you hired your staff for.

There. Did that help? [kidding]

Seriously though, I hear this from people all the time. Micromanagement is definitely alive and well in the workplace. And for techies who are promoted to management, it's really bad. They have a tendency to continue to work in their comfort zone, which means they keep doing what they've been doing rather than what's required in the new position.

If it hasn't happened already, you need to sit down with your boss to discuss responsibilities — who's going to do what, when. You will probably need to initiate this discussion.

Tell him you would like to have a meeting to clarify your role on the team. You want to approach this from a helping perspective, not a defensive position. Go into this meeting prepared to discuss what you “think” is your role and how you plan to accomplish your objectives. Get agreement from him on the things you will do and those he will hold on to. Make sure you have some regular communication set up so you can stay in the loop of the task completion.

He may not yet have the confidence in your ability that he needs, so you may have to take some baby steps to build that up. You can do that by setting up check ins on a regular basis.

About Denise O'Berry

Denise O'Berry is President of The Small Business Edge Corp, a small business consulting firm. A small business owner since 1996, Denise understands the challenges facing small business. She's lived them herself and helped hundreds of clients work through the frustrations, fears, and joys of owning a small business. Denise is the author of Small Business Cash Flow: Strategies for Making Your Business a Financial Success, a practical guide about keeping the cash in your business - where it belongs. Find more resources and tips at deniseoberry.com and askteamdoc.com