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  • Writer's pictureShandy Welch

Let Up and Gain More Control

Is being a controller serving you well?

Who do you want to be and what are you prepared to do to get there?

Many of you let me know that my last Weekly Wisdom on the “Stickler” brought a lot of insight and introspection. With that in mind, I am now committed to teaching you about all of the 10 saboteurs identified in Positive Intelligence:

Stickler, Judge, Controller, Hyper Achiever, Hyper-vigilant, Avoider, Pleaser, Victim, Hyper-rational

Once you are aware of the thoughts and circumstances that hijack your positivity and potential you have an opportunity to choose differently.

Awareness is the key and the beginning.

Through this practice, you are able to develop the insight, awareness and mental muscle to physiologically change the neural pathways in your brain resulting in better relationships, greater success, personal growth, and happiness! Pretty cool huh?

Full disclosure, my top saboteur is the “controller”, while it has served me well in many situations, I now see how it has sometimes robbed me of the opportunity to appreciate others' experiences and develop a more collaborative approach. Through my personal learning, I have been able to move my top saboteur from a 6.7 out of 10 to a 3.4!

The objective is to shift your thoughts from the left side of the brain (the primitive region which reacts to danger and is focused on survival) to the prefrontal cortex where empathy for yourself and others resides.

People with a strong controller are typically confident, action-oriented, and decisive. They have the confidence to do the right thing even if not popular and are able to see the possibilities in themselves and others. All great traits except when it goes too far…

If left unchecked, this perspective might alienate and intimidate others and create followers instead of leaders. We can become so laser-focused on getting the job done that we don’t empower others to grow or recognize the importance of incorporating empathy and vulnerability into the relationship.

How might this show up?

  • You are given a project and don’t see the need or have the interest to become curious as to others' perspectives. You take control, assign tasks based on your perception of being “right” and move forward. How do you think others feel? Maybe they have learned just to back away when you are involved since it is clear you are not interested in hearing others' opinions. The room gets quiet and you may wonder why nobody seems to participate. Doesn’t this get lonely? Yes, the project is complete but you are alone at the finish line.

Tactics to improve.

  1. Recognize that you have a tendency to take control and stop yourself. Breathe.

  2. Become curious as to others' ideas and allow them to speak FIRST. Only until everyone has participated do you offer your thoughts. Simon Sinek says it best, “be the last to speak”.

  3. Trust others' skills and competency. Remember, there is more than one way to approach a situation. Most of the time it is more gray than black and white.

  4. Show your own vulnerability, this will actually draw others closer and feel more connected to you.

My Challenge To You:

  • Take the saboteur assessment here. This will make a lot more sense if you can identify your areas of focus. Trust me, it is incredible!

  • Observe your thoughts and behavior in various situations, are you jumping in or collaborating with others? Is your way always “right”?

  • Pay attention to what is driving your emotions. Fear? Insecurity? Try to step away from this initial feeling and connect with empathy for others. This brief moment will slow the reaction cycle and create a more intentional response.

  • If this is intriguing, please reach out to me and schedule a call.

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