Work demands are contrary to my personality, and my boss is making it worse by micro management

Hi lovely Elphas,

I have an issue I'm currently dealing with. I'm not even sure if it qualifies to be an issue or if I'm overthinking it, but just want to put it out there, since I'm unable to make peace with it -

I'm currently in a mid-senior role which is quite dynamic and needs great focus. In this job, one needs to always be on their toes with information, networking, communication and especially being vocal about the work they do. While I am all of this and trying to keep up with the demands of the job, I am inherently an introvert and don't like to toot my own horn at the workplace. But others in my team and esp. my line manager are all extroverts, having their chit chat all the time, they network very well within the team and with peers in other teams. Everyone knows about the work they do and get the respect for the work they do. On the other hand, while I am doing all the work required of me, I am unable to go the extra mile in terms of this personality change and bring visibility to my work.

To top this, in the recent times I feel my line manager has started to micro manage me even in the way I work (esp. he is very specific about the use of tasks management tools, has set elaborate SOPs and wants it to be done this way only). I'm not sure why he has started doing it in the last few months (it has been 6 months since I moved to his team and he started this at the around the 3rd month - he is new to the company as well). He points out my "mistakes" (which is everything I do other than what he has "instructed" me to do) both during my 1:1s and in team meetings. He does this way with others in the team too, but with me I feel it is a lot more "spoon-feeding / hand-holding"-ish. Plus he documents every single thing, including the "mistakes" I made and the suggestions he gives (basically the corrections). My gut tells me he is gathering evidence to come at me during performance review / any other time. May be I am wrong & overthinking.. but somehow he manages to rub me on the wrong side each time he speaks with me. He also compliments my work during team meetings, but I can feel it is very superficial / namesake.

Rest of the team finds his ways acceptable and lauds him for his ways.. however it is against my natural ways of working and adding additional stress to my already challenging work. I'm not sure what I should do about it.

Should I take it as it is for my own good and look at this as a learning process? OR should I put my foot down and stand up for myself?

If it helps, I'm the only woman on the team, rest are all men in 35-45 age group. In total it is 6 of us. I am a feminist and hate to use the female card, but in this circumstance I can't help be feel the difference. At this moment it is all too cloudy for me, and I'm unable to think clearly.

Any pointers / input from you would be of great help!

Thank you :)

Hi, this sounds like a difficult situation to be in and I can completely empathize with being an introvert surrounded by extroverts, the bit around tooting your own horn hits hard with an old version of me, before I learned to change my mindset.You say he's new...perhaps he's feeling like an imposter and his way to deal with that is to micromanage because he's feeling pressured himself? There could be a number of reasons why he's behaving like this, and maybe it is because you're a woman, but it really could be something else too (and you mentioned he's this way with others too).You can't control how he behaves, you can only control how you show up. So my question would be, what have you tried already to solve this situation?There are a couple of resources I could send you that I think would be useful, if that's helpful to you? Let me know, I'd be happy to help.
Hi Deepatel, Thank you for taking the time and sharing your views! Really appreciate your input. To answer your question, I haven't really tried to bring this up with him as I am neck deep trying to juggle the tasks in a day. I don't have the space and bandwidth to accommodate any drama this could bring along. I'd be happy to go through the resources you mentioned. Please do share them <3
Hi! I can understand the apprehension around having this difficult conversation, however putting it off and not having an open dialogue isn't going to help the problem. I would recommend:1) Doing the "I am remarkable" training - it will help you commuincate your accomplishments in a way that feels more comfortable by reframing how you think about it. 2) To find out more about your style when it comes to engaging you stakeholders you can take this short quiz (it's free): will help you identify your blind spots so you can start having greater impact.
Oof, there is a lot to unpack here. It sounds like a really difficult and stressful situation. I think the most powerful tool in your toolbelt in this situation is asking "why?" So when he dictates a process different than how you would handle it, ask why. Is it because your way was causing issues, or he wants everyone on the team to do things the same way? If it's the latter, why? Dig in as much as you are comfortable to get to the root of the issue. That gives you space to explain how his processes are stifling your work style and making you less effective. Or you may learn it's not about you at all and there's some reasons you aren't privy to. If he's not receptive to your concerns, that might mean the team is not the right place for you. But if he's a good manager, he'll at least hear you out.
Hi Hopemorley, Thank you for taking the time and sharing your views! That really makes a lot of sense. In the midst of all the work chaos I somehow missed factoring this in. I will certainly bring this up the next time I'm in a similar situation. Thanks! :)
This is a tricky situation, @Andra92, and there is a lot to unpack. Let me start with the two main issues that stand out for me: your introvert personality and your manager, who is increasingly micromanaging your work.As an introvert myself, I empathize with your discomfort when it comes to putting yourself out there, but the risk is that you are cutting yourself off from the action and the recognition you deserve. If you are uncomfortable talking about yourself, how about talking about your work, your contribution, and the results you have delivered instead? My introvert clients have found this to be a helpful reframing from "bragging" to "informing". The social aspects of work can be overwhelming, and the thought of having to participate in all the activities can feel daunting. Have you tried "micro-dosing" by selecting specific activities in which you will take part? It would be a shame for you to voluntarily exclude yourself from these opportunities to reconnect with your colleagues or just be able to absorb the latest news and developments in the organization through these informal gatherings. It's also an opportunity to casually update your manager on some of the wins you have achieved or ask for advice on an issue you are working on.Micromanagement stems from the need for reassurance and control. You could address the reassurance part by pre-empting the nit-picking by proactively reporting on how things are going with your projects. This could be via a weekly email update, mentioning recent wins in your one-on-ones, or casually mentioning it at one of the office socials. The control part is manageable by demonstrating that you are doing a good job to build trust and respect for your contribution. But again, you will need to actively communicate this to your manager. Make their life easier by bringing the good news to them rather than expecting them to "discover" you. Nobody has time for that in a busy office setting. Sadly.I hope this opens up new perspectives for you.
Hi Dawns, Thanks for taking the time to share your views :) Wow.. Bragging to informing.. that is such a shift in the way I thought about work. Will certainly adopt it more and more. More so, recently I learnt about "managing up".. and I plan on implementing some learnings from there
FYI, @shradhadoshi has created a fantastic resource, the Introverted Leaders Toolbox, which will also give you some insightful pointers:
Thank you very much :)
Hi there @andra92, it’s completely normal to get frustrated when dealing with difficult work environments. I suggest doing a calming meditation to help you regain your composure (, but if you feel like this is happening daily or frequently, talk with others (peer/mentor/coach/etc) to consider finding a more supportive team/workplace environment. Additionally, I'm linking a quick video with some more guidance –, I’m Rachel. If you want to discuss further, check my profile to book a call to dive deeper into your goals/challenges.
Thanks Rachel! Those are some really helpful links :)
Hello there! I'm genuinely sorry to hear that you're experiencing such challenges in your current role. It's essential to acknowledge the emotions and stress that these situations can bring, so giving yourself space to process is a great step.Having been in similar shoes, including a workplace where I felt gaslit for not conforming to certain processes, I can relate to your situation. It's frustrating when others seem to expect everyone to do things their way, especially in a high-pressure work environment, and it's even more frustrating when it isn't supportive of a diverse workforce.At this point, I'd encourage you to reflect on a few key aspects. First, consider whether this job and work environment align with your long-term career goals and personal well-being. Next, think about whether your boss might be open to a one-on-one conversation where you can constructively address your concerns and highlight how a more flexible approach would be supportive of the diverse skills and backgrounds on your team.Ultimately, the choices you make should align with your goals and values. This could mean viewing this as a valuable learning experience, keeping your focus on your tasks, while simultaneously exploring other employment options. Alternatively, if the organization is large enough, you might consider looking into the possibility of transferring to another team that offers a more supportive leadership environment.Remember, you have the power to navigate your career path and create an environment that suits you best. Wishing you strength and clarity as you move forward!
Thanks Brookcoraldi! That is very helpful :)
You got some great feedback here and I saw this and thought you might be interested in participating? is doing it!
Thanks iynna! That is super helpful :)
of course! How have things been? And how have you made it work for you?