Dealing With The Micromanager Expert

We have all come across the type of person who’s inclined to try and solve their problems themselves. After all, this is the very reason why the virtual assistant industry was set up in the first place, to try and make the all-inclusive entrepreneur a more efficient person. It can be tempting to try and “educate” ourselves on every issue, simply because there’s so much information available at our fingertips on the Internet today. Go on, admit it, if you’re feeling a little under the weather and you’re not sure what your symptoms point to, then have you ever gone online to try to research and diagnose yourself?

This is a situation that can be commonplace in the virtual assistant industry, where the client always seems to have their own opinion and may second-guess what you’re trying to do. They may in part profess to being an “expert” in a particular area, even though they have engaged you to look after this for them. You often come across this type of client when they have tried to dabble in online marketing themselves before. Of course they have picked up some education here, but it can hardly be described as cutting-edge nor have they by definition achieved any success as a consequence of building that knowledge anyway.

We could describe this client another way – the micromanager. The micromanager can be one of the most difficult personalities to interact with, as they simply will not give you the space and time to do your work.

You have to ask yourself a searching question here. Are you going to be able to have a productive relationship with this client? The answer is not always going to be yes. Some virtual assistants think that it would be crazy for them to let any new client go, but sometimes this has to be the case. If you’re convinced however that this relationship can work then you’ll need to have as much patience as possible as you explain why you do things one way, when they may be indicating that they believe another course of action is more pertinent.

Of course it’s possible that there can be two or more ways of approaching a particular issue and the fact that you have chosen one particular way is based upon your knowledge, experience and expertise. It’s important to politely but firmly explain this to the self-appointed expert client and see what kind of response you get from them in turn. If they’re reasonable and willing to let you pursue your course of action in order to help them, then this is well and good.

Even the “expert” client who’s willing to give you your space is likely to provide frequent questions and may from time to time second-guess you. Once again, if you can deal with this and it’s not causing you to operate at a loss due to the amount of time you have to spend, then this is a choice you have to make.

 Are you a Micro-Manager or do you feel liberated to delegate?