(Before I go into the topic of micromanagement, I will clarify that when I say "micromanagement" I'm not referring to the S1 or "Directing" leadership style. I'm referring to the S0 or "Controlling" style.)
Over the years I have learned to get skeptical when I hear people say something along the lines of "I hate micromanagement so I don't do it" because chances are:
I openly admit that I have micromanaged before. This stemmed from a hiring mistake that I had made back when I was managing the vision science lab in university. I was responsible for bringing some directed studies students on board to help me with my project. I brought in two students. One was the right fit for the lab, and the other wasn't.
The lab I worked in pretty much "ran itself" by motivated self-starters who are genuinely curious and eager to learn about how visual perception works. One of the students I brought in had said he was interested in vision science but I failed to see the truth: he really wasn't that interested. (The other student I brought in was beaming with interest. This was when I learned how important body language was in the context of interviews.)
So for the next 3 months, I had two very different management experiences. For the genuinely interested student, it was like putting a rock on a hill and it just rolls on its own; stuff gets done! For the other student it was the opposite - it was like pushing a rock uphill, or pushing a really heavy object on a surface that has a lot of friction. The moment I stop pushing, everything stops. So I kept intervening. It wasn't a good experience for me, and I'm sure it wasn't a good experience for that student either.
To me, micromanagement was a symptom of being bad at hiring. So now when I hear someone go "I hate micromanagement, it is the worst!" it gets me thinking - were you micromanaged? Were you micromanaging? Did it feel like you had to? Was it a result of a hiring mistake? How did it happen? Feel free to share micromanagement experiences in the comments (if you feel comfortable enough that is).
I'm Candice and I doodle with the intensity of the doomguy.