He Touched Me!

We vacationed with three kids and a dog.

We didn’t have a mini-van. The kids had coloring books and each other. Back then, cars weren’t equipped with video monitors or individual headphones.

I always “loved” hearing, “He touched me!” from the backseat.

Surprisingly, I touch people!


I touch people:

I get concerned about something and start asking questions. Is this thing ready to go? Did Paul take care of …? Are you aware that…? What about…?

I walk up behind a technician while they’re in the middle of something, tap them on the shoulder, and ask them about some “important” detail.

I found out that people don’t like me touching them.

Stop pestering:

In the nicest of ways she said, the people on the team don’t like you pestering them while they do their work. She didn’t use the term “pester.” It’s my interpretation.

Say it isn’t so! I’m a meddling perfectionist.

Thank teammates who put you in your place. It’s exactly what they should do.

3 things wrong with meddling:

I always hated it when my boss acted like everything was a crisis. The “big” project drove me nuts. I knew she would be up in my business. I wanted to say, “Chill out. I got this.”

  1. Your need to check details feels like lack of trust to others.
  2. You interrupt or distract people while they’re working.
  3. You don’t have enough information to interject yourself into the process.

5 ways to stop meddling:

  1. Establish expectations up front.
  2. Have “how can we be better meetings,” when things go well, where “meddling” is helpful.
  3. Create appropriate and useful channels of communication. Trust isn’t abdication.
  4. Allow people to perform without a safety net. It makes them strong.
  5. Learn from failure. Don’t repeat it.

Bonus: Establish a single point of contact who can deal with your inner meddler.

Have you had a meddling boss? What suggestions do you have?

How are you overcoming the urge to meddle?