How to Manage Controlling People
Dealing With Their Destructive Impact
"You don't want to do it like that. I'll show you how to do it properly!"
We've all come across this type of person at work. The one who leans over your shoulder to check everything you do, who talks over you in meetings without a second thought, or who's your best friend one minute and a "cold fish" the next.
Would you describe your experience of working with him or her as happy or rewarding? Probably not.
Controlling behavior can be intensely toxic and damaging. It can affect a team's productivity and make people's lives miserable. It can also cause high performers to leave your team, which can be deeply destructive.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage it, and we'll show you how in this article.
What Is Controlling Behavior?
In the 2014 edition of "The Oxford Handbook of Work Engagement, Motivation, and Self-Determination Theory," researchers Johnmarshall Reeve and Yu-Lan Su describe controlling behavior as "putting pressure on a person to think, feel and behave in a particular way." They suggest it includes monitoring someone's behavior in order to influence him, demeaning or ignoring him, displaying impatience, and failing to explain things so that he feels inferior. Some people can be unaware of how controlling their behavior is, while others are intentionally manipulative....