Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Control Vs Empowerment

We all are control freaks.. Yes I mean it.. We all are born to be control freaks.. We need as much control on things as we could get, no matter what you are doing. Don't agree?

Ask the Finance Minister isn't he controlling the economy?
Too far? Ask the Finance Director of your company for that extra dollar and see what and how he reacts?
Everyone sitting in any chair is a control freak.. for Good or for Bad.. they want to control, We want to control.

Anyways... the point is not to tell who is control freak and who not.. The idea of the post is how do we know if we are control freaks...

I had a discussion with Ani a few days ago...during the discussion he said that when 2 people get into a discussion, 1 person tries to dominate the discussion and the other gets bullied.. How would one have a fruitful discussion in such case? I agree... I have seen Managers going into discussion and not letting scope to have a discussion, result a unsatisfied orator... A meaningless argument, a odourless debate..

One of the major issues with several managers is that they think by controlling things they can do what they want to get done or vice versa... I dont believe so... A few months ago my kids were pushed into swimming classes.. the fear of drowning into water resulted in lot of yelling and crying when the tutor tried to get them even into knee-deep water.. Several attempts made to force, to throw them into water , to shout at them and to punish them to get into the swimming pool did not get them roll there hands and legs in the pool. Surf pads, floaters nothing was helping.. The tutor then caught a simple way to get them in... they were made to lay on a water bed where they could float and sleep.. a couple of days the water bed was pooled out without air and they still remained calm in water, a few days later they chose a double floater that would float them no matter where in water they would stand.. the fear started vanishing, confidence grew... result they started swimming.

The lesson I learn from this was simple...

The moment you try to force your or someone else's wish onto others it drives a human being to think that it is control, results in resistance no matter if it is for good or bad for them.
Control also has a very short life( Watch movie Matilda).
Control creates unhappiness.
Control drives dis-comfort.
Control invites dependency and troubles
Control creates arrogance
Control stalls growth

So how to not control?

Never impose
Never force
Never be pushy
Enable to make decision
Help in understanding facts and making decisions
Back up and support pre and post decision period.. no matter what the result is
Learn to listen, Learn to adapt to change
Learn to hear out

All of this will help the person do things you want him to do, on his own, realising the objective and trying to achieve the same goals... Yes that is what is Empowerment...

Control would fail, today or tomorrow... Empowerment succeeds always.