7 Downward Steps of Control Freaks

The thing that irritates you about others is the thing you’re trying to change about them.

“I’ve tried everything,” means you can’t figure out how to change someone.

the line of starting over

The more you try to change someone, the more irritating you become to them.

7 downward steps:

The desire to change someone is the beginning of a downward spiral.

  1. Desire to change someone moves to concern. You’re concerned that their fault or weakness holds them back.
  2. Concern turns to pressure, subtle at first.
  3. Pressure moves to manipulation.
  4. Manipulation becomes frustration.
  5. Frustration grows to exasperation.
  6. Exasperation turns to isolation.
  7. Isolation ends with giving up. Nothing’s going to change. Why try?

The reason you feel like giving up is you’re trying to control something you can’t.

You tried changing them, but you probably haven’t tried changing yourself.

Coaching-leaders help others create lines:

#1. The line of letting go.

Control freaks see themselves as helpful, not controlling.

Coaching-leaders point people to their own behaviors not the behavior of others. Control freaks worry too much about others and not enough about themselves.

#2. The line of starting over.

You’re trying to change your boss, colleague, or employee, but it isn’t working. Draw a line and start over. This time, change something about yourself, not them.

The line of starting over is the line of one-more-time, but differently.

5 coaching questions for control freaks:

  1. What have you tried?
  2. How did it work?
  3. What would you like to try? (That’s within your control.)
  4. Who would you like to become?
  5. How might you become that person?

Creating lines is learning about the extent and limit of control.

Let go of things you can’t control. Change what you can.

How have you learned to let go of things you can’t control?

How might coaching-leaders help others let go of things they can’t control?


Do you aspire to become a coaching leader?

I’m delighted to partner with Clarity Development Consulting to offer the proven “Coaching for Engagement” program. Drop me an email if you’d like to explore Bob Hancox and me coming to your organization to begin developing a coaching culture in your organization.