Why people micromanage others?

nobody intends nor wants to be a micromanager, it just happens

SImple Answer

They are afraid of failure, they don’t want their projects to fail (no one does!)

Fun Fact

nobody intends nor wants to be a micromanager, it just happens

But what’s the problem then?

Those who evolve into micromanagers fear failure but at the same time doesn’t know how to scale operations via delegating and often paired with hiding information/access/power to stay relevant within their organization.

These people are often the ones that got promoted because they are good at their job/field, but that does not equate to being good a teaching/replicating yourself/your skills to others and this causes the problem, the micromanagers (whose thinking got clouded with the fear of failure) starts thinking that “I am good at this, this is why I am here, so all i need to do is tell them how i would do it!”

Does micromanagement ever work?

yes it does, but the question is to whom?
It works for people who purposely took on routinary tasks (I’ll probably explain Routine VS Creative tasks at another post) .
Routinary work requires a specific set of rules… so that the workers can mindlessly work on them.
Who are these routinary workers? they are the ones who set aside their creative brain for their main life goals, like a student studying post-grad while taking menial/routine work or those who just wanna take a break from their overly taxing/creative work (this is why some people join non-profits and volunteer groups!)

How can we avoid being micromanagers?

“The first step in solving a problem is recognizing there is one”

― Will Mcavoy

it all starts with acceptance, this is why we need to cultivate Psychological Safety in the workplace, we need to make people feel
that we listen and Ideas area heard and processed empathetically, so our teammates will honestly tell us if we are slowly threading the path to being a micromanager

Next is to identify “Why you are good at your job” and try to extract those core values/its “first principles” and teach them to others

Then learn to set Goals/Purpose/WHYs and learn to create good K.P.I. (assuming our goals are S.M.A.R.T.) that measure how close you are to reaching the desired state of your project.

This eliminates the fear of failure and makes our teammates more happy. And it has been mentioned over and over that happy workers are more productive workers (maybe this stems back to Maslow’s Pyramid of Human Needs, so as long as physiological needs are met with proper salary, relationship/acceptance needs are met by not being an ass micromanager, people reach the top of the pyramid, which in turn means more productivity for your team).