Let go – 4 Remedies for Exhausted Control Freaks
My wife thinks I’m a control freak. I reject this spectacular exaggeration. It’s true I can’t let go of control, but I’m no freak about it.
Just before she took off on errands I asked if she wanted me to ride along and supervise. She said, no, no, NO! She needs to let go of judging me. And I still think she could use some supervision. She needs to loosen her grip and I’m certain I can help.
Supervision is exhausting for control freaks.
Let go – 4 remedies for exhausted control freaks:
#1. Acknowledge dangers.
- Stress. Control freaks go nuts when others stay calm.
- Inaction. People won’t act when the boss has his nose in everything.
- Over-work. You do too much when you can’t delegate.
- Strained relationships. Weak people love control freaks, everyone else says, “No.”
#2. Practice self-awareness.
Know your weaknesses so you can leverage other people’s strengths. Know the strengths on your team so you can elevate performance.
Combine self-awareness with self-acceptance. A person who is good at everything has self-acceptance issues.
#3. Create psychological safety.
Control freaks are volatile and judgmental. Learn basic practices that create safe places.
- Find a way to say thank you in every interaction.
- Stop talking so others have space to contribute.
- Explore how other people’s ideas might work. Go with their plan as long as it isn’t harmful.
- Seek advice (and put it into action).
- Provide constructive feedback.
- Share your own weaknesses.
- Talk about things you’re learning.
#4. Extend trust progressively.
Trust people to act consistently with their history. When it comes to novices, extend trust progressively. Don’t hand the keys to the kingdom to the new kid on the team.
How are you learning to not be controlling?
Distrust suggests people are incompetent – it’s subtle rejection of talent. Diminishers seldom thrive in leadership.
The Fear of Failure Makes You Small
5 WAYS TO BUILD A GREAT TEAM CULTURE BY INCREASING PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY
Read, “The Fearless Organization,” by Amy Edmondson
Totally relate to, “I can’t let go of control, but I’m no freak about it.”
#4 is key: you have to learn to trust people to the degree that they can be trusted. Even a novice may be given some degree of autonomy. After all, if you hired them, they have clearly managed some life skills: graduating from high school, graduating from college/getting a vocational degree, finding your job posting, submitting a resume good enough to get them called in, passing an interview.
And even your most experience person may be given limited autonomy, After all, they have had time to show you who they are at work.
Thank you, Dan, for providing my daily does of “aha”. I laughed out loud at the line “Raise the hand of the person beside you if you’re a control freak”. I’m not quite that bad but I know I could be if I didn’t some checks and balances. Loved your advice on creating safe spaces – so others can grow.