How to Control Your Control Freak

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Control freaks are bullies even when they smile.  Trust me, I’m a “recovering” control freak and I know first hand. Anything less than compliance offends “us”.  

Dan Rockwell has some great thoughts on this topic:  

We are a Control Freak if we:

1.  Believe perfectionism is the same as excellence

2.  Get irritated when people don’t adapt to you

3.  Possess irritating tenacity

4.  Know better and can do better than others

5.  Nitpick and intervene

6.  Monopolize conversations and interrupt.

Bonus: Control freaks panic when they feel control going to others.





6 Ways to control your control freak:
  1. Authorize someone on your team to confront you when you’re controlling. Give them permission to point out controlling language, postures, and behaviors.
  2. Ask more; command less.
  3. Adapt to and align with others. Adapting is weakness and failure to control freaks. Everything’s a contest.
  4. Speak for yourself not others. Control freaks won’t speak from their hearts and won’t let others speak from theirs either. Say what you really think.
  5. Monitor and reject fear-based decisions. Control freaks are fearful. Fear is best for maintaining and protecting. Courage innovates.
  6. Go with new ideas. Control freaks default to “no,” unless it’s their idea.                             

Control your control freak by having real conversations:
Control freaks can’t have conversations because conversations are with  – not to.


Control ends conversation.
Control freaks can’t listen. They’re constantly wondering how to get what they want.


Candor and control:
Control freaks aren’t candid, they manipulate.
Candor takes courage to own hard things 

not just say hard things.


Types of leadership conversations
  1. Connect. Close the distance. Embrace casual; reject corporate-speak.
  2. Correct or confront.
  3. Create.
  4. Collaborate. Plan with not for.


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