One of the things not touched on in many business program is the inevitable fact that organizations have both internal politics and conflict. Many people avoid politics, but sooner or later, conflict will happen and must be confronted. Avoiding conflict leads to stress and is, at best, a poor strategy. Like stress, a proper amount of conflict often promotes problem solving and creativity in the organization.  Likewise, too much conflict, like micromanagement, leads to discomfort and ultimately to dysfunction. I have observed many organizations and great managers understand the some conflict is useful, but step in when conflict creates disunity or dysfunction with in a group of co-workers.

The difference is that great companies attract the best talent the firm can afford, paying them as much as possible (and what is prudent), marshaling the resources necessary for them to perform their jobs, and then having the sense to get out of the way and let them perform to the best of their ability is an essential management “truth”. Remember that management’s entire purpose for existing is to handle exceptions. So while managing by objectives (MBO) is important, managing by exception (MBE) is equally important.

Too much management creates distrust and alienates workers. A manager who micromanages does him or herself a disfavor as well as the associate, team member, or employee. Micromanagement ultimately leads to unhealthy conflict. Most micromanagers basically distrust people (some even hate people) and think that they can do better than their employees. The span of control alone belies this philosophy and violates just about every management theory about motivating people.

So if you micromanage, do not be surprised if you are not respected, shunned by colleagues and co-workers, are outright disliked by line employees, and experience a lot of conflict in your organization.