The Art of Managing: Win Your Control Freak Over in 10 Steps
Almost all leaders are control freaks, which means they have the habit to control everyone and everything. In fact, all people are born as control freaks. Your childhood tantrums were responses to losing control – your parents didn’t give you what you wanted, and you were losing temper because you couldn’t have permanent control.
However, the point here is not the desire itself but how you expose your desire for control.
Warnings about control habits
Control freaks decrease or destroy:
- Boldness: control freaks punish risk-takers with micro-management.
- Input: control freaks hear what they want to hear. People don’t bother telling them the truth.
- Ownership and involvement: you own only things that you control. Engagement requires ownership.
Are there any benefits of being a control freak?
Being a control has a positive attribute as well. Control freaks watch their thoughts; they know what they want and focus on their goals without distractions. They don’t wait for things to happen – no dreamy planning, control freaks take action and get what they want.
Having a control freak in a team may also support stability and help to get through the period of change with a minimum stress.
10 ways to win your control geek over
1. Be strategic – focus more on long-term goals.
2. Allow freedom of method.
3. Release “how,” follow “what.” Make space for others to design next steps that create forward movement.
4. Challenge or eliminate hobos.
5. Hold your criticism when teams work hard and fall short. Ask “What have we learned?” “What should we do differently next time?”
6. Emphasize when things are going great. Ask “What’s working?”
7. Understand that leadership is getting people doing what “they want to do” in service to a positive mission.
8. Hold yourself to higher standards than you hold others.
9. Ask two open-ended questions before making judgments or decisions.
10. Say to yourself “I could be wrong.”