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Top tips for control freaks

Control Freak is an attitude that if the job is going to be done properly, then you must either do the job yourself or must exert control over other people and situations to get the job done. The Control Freak mindset is one that tells them that they are the only ones that know how to do it.

Here are some top tips on calming the control freak attitude:

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Be sensitive. Become more sensitive to the needs of others. If they’re asking for more responsibility but you’re not allowing it then it may be a sign that you’re micromanaging.


Grow your awareness. Practice noticing when you’re becoming more controlling. Ask yourself, how would you feel if you were being treated this way?


Reflect. Regularly reflect on what you could do to be less controlling.


Use an observer. Ask a trusted ally to flag up to you when you go into control mode. Consider what triggered the need to control and what you could do to prevent the situation from occurring again.


Delegate effectively. When you allow someone else to take control, you need to do this in a way that is influential and developmental, not bossy or dictatorial. Ensure that the other person understands:

    • Why the work needs to be done by them, not you.
    • What the desired outcome is and how you will evaluate results.
    • The date by which they are expected to do it.
    • The resources and help they will have to complete the work.
    • The authority they have to make decisions.
    • The problems they must refer back.
    • How and when they should report to you on progress.
    • How you propose to guide and support them.

Learn more about being a control freak in my best-selling book, ‘How to Prevent Burnout’.

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