Controlling Bosses feel their experience and proficiency led to their advancement and entitle them to make all the decisions. They may or may not be Micromanaging Bosses, but they certainly insist on controlling the decision-making within their team. They will decide and who holds the Veto Power.
The problem with Controlling Bosses is they undervalue contributions from their team and peers, believing that the best decisions will come from within rather than others. This ego-centric perspective results in others that give up on being heard and lose faith that their contributions will be valued. As a result, the Controlling Boss becomes a bottleneck for the Team’s output. They can only produce results at the pace of the Boss rather than the exponential capacity of the team. Plus, a lack of perspective evolves when decisions are centralized, and the magic of diverse thought and innovative ideas is lost.
People working for Controlling Bosses have options:
1. Acknowledge Your Responsibility. Take ownership for what you can influence, and do it in a respectful manner. Give the Boss Feedback with proper Intentions to help them. Use the B.E. Formula: Offer perspective on their Behaviour (B), and describe the Effects (E). Be non-judgemental.
2. Set Boundaries. Define or clarify, with agreement, your responsibilities. Write these down.
3. Don’t Invite Control. Present updates with authority by stating your intentions for action and ask for their perspective on your intended action, rather than just asking for permission.
4. Seek to Understand. Ask for clarification in a non-threatening way. Use phrases such as “Help me understand this”.
5. Build Trust with your Boss. Here are five key questions to clarify your role and build trust:
- What does your Boss need from you in the short and medium term?
- What does success look like to your Boss?
- What does your Boss need you to accomplish in your roll that has not been done before?
- What does your Boss need to see from you to foster a sense of relief that they have the right person?
- What do your peers, customers and stakeholders expect from you?
Source: “The First 90 Days” by Michael Watkins
6. Acceptance. Some Control & Disagreement is expected. Clearly identify what you can control and what you cannot control. Consider your Boss’s perspectives and input honestly and sincerely and accept that this is the way it might have to be. Know that you will not change the Tiger’s Stripes.
7. Get Out. If the situation is beyond your control and it is becoming unhealthy, look for ways to respectfully move on. Too many people work in unhealthy situations and suffer every single day. It’s not worth it.
Pat Lipovski on LinkedIn
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Envision Group’s Website
Terry Lipovski on LinkedIn
Terry Lipovski on Twitter
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