The workplace is a hot bed for inefficient and costly control practices. The compulsion to control at work and in business is an unavoidable consequence of man’s (and woman’s) primal drive for sustenance and survival. Some may graciously refer to it as just ”trying to get ahead” or “make ends meet”, but in truth, it can be argued that it is nothing less than the survival of the fittest at the work place. As such, work is fertile ground for our fears and anxieties, causing us to press, direct, resist, and manipulate—and worry incessantly.
Why, you may ask, are such control practices so harmful? As I explain in my forthcoming book,Losing Control, Finding Serenity: How the Need to Control Hurts Us and How to Let It Go there exists a natural life rhythm (or currents, if you will), which is constantly moving, shifting, and changing, and in which there are lows and highs and ebbs and flows. We basically have two choices: we can try to resist these currents—and be burned or dragged along–or try to move with them as expansively and intuitively as we can. I refer to the latter as “riding the Wave.”
When we dominate or control too much at work or in business, we obstruct these currents, resulting in lost opportunities. Conflict and discord prevail as our interactions with others frequently become abrasive and headstrong, instead of cooperative and thoughtful. We further become “stressed out” and worry about things over which we have no real control. Considerable inefficiencies abound within this environment because our rigidity prevents us from adapting to changing circumstances and priorities, as well as recognizing viable options. There are clearly no “quarter-back” options to this way of doing business. As a consequence, more and greater mistakes are made and opportunities are lost.
To be clear, I am not suggesting that there is no room or justification for control in the work place. To the contrary, control measures are necessary for the proper supervision of workers and duties, maintaining quality control, following proper safety measurements, adhering to technical procedures, and the like. My point, however, is that there is a distinction between prudent control practices in the work place, and compulsive, domineering forms of control that are triggered primarily by strong emotions such as fear, anger, anxiety—and insecurity.
In future articles I will examine key tools and practices that will help you relinquish control at work and in business, and demonstrate the remarkable and unexpected benefits that result when you do–including increased productivity, greater financial rewards, and less stress and anxiety.