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Why do some Managers control their people?

Have you ever been labelled a “control freak” by one of your employees?


The above description can be unfair at times as from my experience, managers can be called “control freak” for simply managing an employee’s performance, output or behaviour effectively. This may just be managing, rather than being a control freak….so don’t beat yourself up if you have been labelled controlling or a control freak!


That said, some managers dictate how work should be done down to a detailed level, rather than giving their employee an opportunity or freedom to express themselves in achieving the desired outcome. Unfortunately, this approach eventually drains the energy from the employee and can affect business in the long run.


One of the most difficult things to do as a manager is realise that people will not do stuff the way you do stuff! If you force them, they are likely to get frustrated and turn against you or simply become dependent on you....then you need to question whether it is worth having them in the first place?


You will never have perfect people who see everything as you do, but you can provide your employee the support and tools to take the right action and make the right decisions most of the time. Mistakes might be made but they, and you, will see the benefit of this in the long run through the employee’s engagement, job satisfaction and performance outcomes. The reward of seeing the employee develop their skills, confidence and performance through some level of autonomy is highly satisfying. This doesn’t mean not being clear about the outcome, just don’t get involved in the steps required to obtain that outcome!


If you don’t want to be labelled controlling or a control freak, it is important to let the employee find their way to the outcome, it may be a different way than yours but so long as no company standards, principles or values have been compromised then that has to be a win / win.

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