Do you own you own business and do everything yourself? Are you afraid to hire employees because you are worried they won’t do the job as well? If you have employees, do you let them do the job by themselves or are you constantly checking in? Are you a control freak? Don’t panic. Lots of other people are too. The problem with being a control freak is that most of us aren’t aware that we are. A lot of the behaviors associated with needing to have control are easy to miss in oneself even when everyone around can see them.
As an employee, working under a control freak can be challenging because, as we mentioned above, most of them are not aware of the behaviors they are exhibiting and how others perceive them in the work place. They don’t realize how their method of getting the job done is making those around them feel. Often, employees feel as though they aren’t doing the job right, question their work or themselves, lack confidence, suffer from self-doubt, feel like they can’t do anything right, and stop enjoying their job.
If you think you might be a control freak, your conduct isn’t just affecting your employees; it is also having an impact on your work. When you are focused on all the aspects of your business you don’t allow yourself to put 100% into any of them. What you think of as being productive is actually hindering you from achieving your full productivity. You are essentially getting in your own way. For example, you have a new service to introduce and are so wrapped up in making sure everything is perfect for the presentation to your investors, that you don’t allot enough time to prepare yourself to actually present. Let’s say you do this presentation anyway and it goes over fine. You receive a few complements and get some business from it because you’re good at your job. Your presentation was fairly successful. Now think about how it would have gone if you’d let someone do the slides for you, or prepared the packages, or set up your table, or if you stopped checking on everyone so often. By stepping back and giving some of your work load to one of your team or by letting your employees do their jobs without looking over their shoulders all the time, you free yourself up to focus on fine-tuning your presentation and wowing your audience. Instead of “some” business and a few compliments you now find beaming praise and a lot of business. The presentation was a great success and all because you were able to focus on the most important aspects instead of spreading yourself thin and scrambling to get prepared.
The following are some of the more common traits of being a control freak.
- Everything has its place in your home from the kitchen to the office and if things don’t go back in the right spot you get upset or irritated.
- You believe that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.
- You give people lots of “constructive criticism” to help them do a better job or do it more your way.
- You have to do everything yourself and have a hard time letting someone else do the work unless you oversee it.
- You have to know everything that’s going on and have a difficult time if you don’t.
- You micromanage others in an attempt to get things done your way or push your own agenda.
If you identify with any of the above traits, it may be a sign that you are a control freak. You may want to step back, take a look at yourself, and evaluate your performance and its possible effects on those around you. The worst part about being a control freak is not being aware that people you work with see what you are projecting in a negative way. Don’t let being a control freak control you. Change the behaviors that keep you from being as productive as you want to be.