Manage better by releasing control

relaxcontrolNavigating an appropriate level of control can be a difficult balancing act as a new manager…

Many new managers (and seasoned ones too!) try to control too much thinking that everything now depends upon them while others don’t manage enough out of fear of being “accused” of being the dreaded micro-manager.

I remember being worried as a new manager because I believed that being a manager meant that now EVERYTHING rested on my shoulders and it was a serious responsibility. I was no longer “just” responsible for my activity. I was responsible for my team and I now had to figure out (quickly) how to be effective at getting them to WANT to follow my lead… Selfishly though, I also wanted to “look good”. I wanted to be the best, most perfect manager ever in the history of the world! Sound familiar?

I don’t think (or at least I hope) that I could ever be accused of being a micro-manager but it took time for me to RELAX – to trust that I had a team of competent, well-intentioned people who also wanted to do well. Yes, it was my job to “herd” them and to lead them but I didn’t have to CONTROL them..

As I released control and began to trust them, they in turn relaxed and began to trust ME and THAT was the opening for building relationship, confidence and ultimately, coming to think of myself (and being thought of) as a leader. I created a space for them to begin to trust that my motives were less about ME and more about US. We became a team.

Ultimately, the ONLY person you can control is yourself. Trying to control others can only result in anger, mistrust and resistance. So relax, begin to trust yourself and remember that before being a manager you are a human being and so are the folks that work for you….

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