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5 Effective Emails to Get Your Creeper Micromanager to Give You Space

How would you feel working under excessive supervision from your boss? That personal space you once valued is no longer yours. Pressure for perfection will kill your motivation and career development, regardless of how efficient you are as an employee.

Before you started working with your boss, you enjoyed plenty of freedom to get on with your work. All of a sudden, all your movements are being observed, your work is under scrutiny, and you feel like you are constantly being assessed.

However, you love your job and would like to continue working with the organization, but you have concerns about your boss’s approach. You want to ask them to give you some space and to explain that you feel uncomfortable being watched all the time.

Here are templates for five effective ways to tell your boss you need some space:

Illustrations courtesy of Shutterstock.

Email Template 1 | “Dear Boss, My Output as Your Employee Depends on You as My Team Leader.”

 

Dear [Insert Name],
I’ve been working in your team for some time now, and I really appreciate the opportunities that this has brought me, in terms of career progression. I feel that now is the time for me to show that I am ready for more responsibility and that I am capable of working independently.
In order to do this, it would mean that the way we work together would need to change, with you taking a less detailed management approach, relying on me to get on with my work and to report to you if I have any questions or need any support from you.
I believe that this would enable me to grow as an employee and to become much more productive. Could we meet to discuss this in more detail, please?
[Insert Your Name]

This template suits the situation where you want your manager to see that tight supervision isn’t necessary and that you would be much more effective as an employee if you could work independently or as part of a team.

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Email Template 2 | “Treat Your Employees as Colleagues; the Closer They Are, the Better the Performance.”

 

Dear [Insert Name],
This email is to bring to your attention a concern that has come up within the department. At the moment, the team is managed on an individual level, and within quite tight parameters. The team as a whole feels that if a different approach was adopted, productivity, morale and commitment would all be improved.
Whilst it’s obviously important to be aware of each person’s performance at all times, if the team was allowed to work more closely together, performance would certainly improve, as each team member would feel part of something bigger and more effective. A strong team will produce strong results, whilst a team made up of individuals who are more concerned with how their own performance is being seen will suffer.
Would it be possible to arrange a team meeting to discuss these issues, and to consider an alternative approach that focuses on the team as a whole, with a greater degree of autonomy for all?
Thank you,
[Insert Your Name]

This template tells your boss that the team is fed up of being forced to work independently and under close supervision, and that staff want to be given the freedom to build a team together. If you can put the argument forward on behalf of the whole team, this will be much more effective.

Email Template 3 | “It Does Not Matter Who You Are and What You Do as My Boss; What Matters is the Future We Build as a Team.”

 

Dear [Insert Name],
We’ve been working together for some time, and we’ve completed several projects now. Over this time, I’ve had time to understand how you like to manage your team members, and to compare this with other managers that I’ve worked with in the past.
Whilst you are undoubtedly a very good manager, the fact that I am not given any autonomy within my role may suggest to others that either you do not trust me to get on with my work, or that you are not able to delegate work effectively.
Those perceptions are not helpful to you or to me, in terms of our careers. In view of this, I’d like to discuss with you how we could make some changes to allow me to work more independently. Of course, I would report to you regularly on progress, and ask for your support if I needed it.
If that approach is acceptable to you, perhaps we could put it into place with immediate effect? Alternatively, if you’d like to discuss it in more detail, please just let me know when would be convenient to meet with you.
Thank you,
[Insert Your Name]

This template points out that other people may see your boss’s management style in a bad light, without you having to directly criticise it. That should encourage them to take your suggestions on board and to step back from micro-managing you.

If you're looking to develop your communication skills for professional environments even further, we think you’ll like the following video course from LinkedIn Learning. Check out the preview below:

Click here for full access to "Leading without Formal Authority" On LinkedIn Learning
In this course, leadership and personal development experts Lisa Earle McLeod and Elizabeth McLeod outline how individual contributors or SMEs can exhibit leadership by influencing, inspiring, mentoring, and motivating others. They also help you overcome unique challenges such as how to communicate when you think your boss or team is headed in the wrong direction.

Email Template 4 | “Dear Boss, Aiming for the Stars and Landing in the Clouds is Far Better Than Aiming for the Clouds and Landing on the Trees”

 

Dear [Insert Name],
I’m sure that you’re already aware that I love my job here, and that I’m committed to the success of the company. I work hard to improve my skills continually, and I’m also keen to consider alternative approaches wherever possible, to identify more productive ways of working.
With a little more freedom in my role, I believe I could really shine, bringing fresh ideas and an enthusiastic approach to my work. I appreciate that some staff members may need constant monitoring and close supervision, but I feel that personally, this approach stifles my own creativity and productivity. Could we arrange a time to discuss this in more detail, please, so that I can explain to you how more autonomy could enable me to develop professionally?
Thank you,
[Insert Your Name]

This template explains that you are being held back in terms of productivity by your boss’s management technique, whilst not expressly criticising it.

It subtly hints that your boss would be holding you back if they refuse to acknowledge your request for more freedom.

Illustrations courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Email Template 5 | “It would be better not focus on who I am, but rather on what I can do.”

 

Dear [Insert Name],
I know that we haven’t always seen eye to eye on project issues, and that when we worked together on [insert project name], the outcome was not completely satisfactory. It’s understandable that you may now feel that I need very close supervision on our current projects.
However, that particular project was a long time ago, and I have worked hard to develop my skills and team-working abilities since then. In order to be able to fulfil my potential, I need to be given responsibility and the freedom to work unsupervised.
I know that I am more than capable of doing what is required of me, and feel that such close supervision is not allowing me to convince you of this.
Could we arrange a convenient time to discuss this, so that I can demonstrate that past performance does not reflect what I am capable of today?
Thank you,
[Insert Your Name]

This template is a good one to use if your boss has decided for some reason that you cannot be trusted to work on your own. By distancing yourself from past actions, you are telling your boss that you need to be judged only on current performance.

If you're looking to develop your communication skills for professional environments even further, we think you’ll like the following video course from LinkedIn Learning. Check out the preview below:

Click here for full access to "Influencing Others" On LinkedIn Learning
Join John Ullmen, PhD, as he explains how to influence others when you're at the "pivot point of influence," by applying 18 scientifically confirmed methods. Whether you're influencing at work or at home, you can learn what the best influencers do before they influence, and see how to choose the best steps for your situation, and have people want to be influenced by you.

At Never the Right Word, our aim is to give you practical examples of how to handle life’s difficult conversations. If you have an awkward situation that you’d like example templates for, request a topic here.   

If you’re interested in further reading, we’ve also included links to our trusted resources and related posts below. To find out more about NTRW and our recommended tools, you can do that here.  

Lastly, if you found this content helpful or want to share your own examples, let us know in the comments. We’d also be delighted if you shared this article and joined us on social media too!

Never the Right Word

Never the Right Word

Hi there! I’m Amy, and I’m the person behind Never the Right Word. I’m a designer-by-day who’s fascinated by human psychology; you’ll find me learning about what makes others tick through all types of media and good old-fashioned conversation.

In 2019 Never the Right Word was born to fill the gap of ‘how-to’ websites with copy and paste examples showing you EXACTLY what you need to say to steer difficult conversations into positive outcomes.

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