In my last two workshops for women’s organizations, when we did the exercise on What Are Your Archetypes (the link is to an article that will explain the concept), someone asked, “Where is the archetype for Control Freak?” I had never had this question asked before. Now it was asked twice in a row.
I might have considered putting Controller on the list but there are elements of control in the Queen, Commander and Superstar archetypes combined with some positive behaviors. Yet being a Control Freak can yield good results in some circumstances, right?
I know that in order to climb the corporate ladder as quickly as I did in my younger years, I had to take charge of things from time to time and make sure work was done correctly. The same goes for my own business. I better like being in control if I want to be successful as a solopreneur.
As with most strengths, there is a dark side of abundance. The same goes for being a Controller. When other people should be included in a project or decision, if their ideas are silenced or shot down, they lose motivation and often feel resentful. Eventually they think, “Why bother, you are going to do what you want anyway.” Resistance falls away and we Controllers go happily on our way thinking we are doing the right thing.
The problem is that we often don’t know we are being overly controlling. We justify our behavior thinking we are being efficient, time-sensitive or just plain right. This can yield great results yet hurt relationships.
And what happens if you get sick or called away to do something else? No one else can do your work well because you maintained such a tight control over what gets done and what decisions are made.
I am considering adding Controller to the archetype list. Would you have to circle this word if I asked you to identify your dominant behavioral patterns? How would you know this is you?
Please share the signs you have come to realize that signify you are in Control Freak mode. This will help us all make better decisions about who we should include in the moment.
If you feel you suffer from chronic Control Freak behavior, you might want to check out the book, The Control Freak Revolution by Cheryl Cran. Let me know what you learn.