The Control Freak – Obsessive Control of Work Situations and Projects

The last part of the control freak definition is the obsessive control of situations. We’ll look at this in two parts, today we’ll look at work situations and tomorrow personal situations.

Unable to sit back and allow others to take care of a situation the control freak must jump in to save the day. This can be irritating as Hell, especially if you were managing the situation well enough without their help. At this point, however, the control freak has already decided how it’s going to be and you’re nothing more than a road bump in their path.

Is this a bad thing? If the person knows what they are doing, shouldn’t they jump in to make sure that everything goes well? Yes, and no. It’s not so much the act of controlling a situation that defines the control freak, but rather the force with which they come in and take control. Often there will be quite the blustery show of bravado as the situation is taken over. If others don’t fall in line with the new leader then they can expect to be belittled. Worst of all, perhaps, is if the control freak fails. Should this happen it won’t be their fault, rather it will be yours for any variety of reasons.

Preventing the control freak from taking over.

Is it possible to stop the control freak from taking over? Yes, especially in the workplace. In work situations it’s possible to curb the actions of the control freak by keeping the following in mind.

  1. Know the chain of command and don’t be afraid to use it. If you were put in charge of the project, make sure you act like it. If you roll over to the whims of the control freak, then they’ll bulldoze you into following their path.
  2. Be firm, don’t allow them to take control away from you. Be sure to let the control freak know that their contributions to the team are appreciated and that you are happy to have them help you, but you’re all a team under you guidance.
  3. Do not get pulled into a drawn-out argument. The control freak is a master of rhetoric and will wear you down until you feel there is no other option than to relinquish control. Avoid these arguments by politely declining involvement.
  4. Delegate tasks evenly. Any situation or project will have multiple tasks that need to get done. Delegating these tasks to team members and following up with them will make sure that the control freak isn’t trying to take over the bulk of the work.

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