Often, we encounter controlling personalities at work, people who want things to be done in their own way. Most of the times, these people suffer from narcissistic personality disorder, a personality disorder, which reflects a constant need for attention and a lack of empathy. Narcissistic leaders are preoccupied with dreams of power, dominance, and overachievement while, most of the times, they inflate their talents without assuming equal responsibilities. When they feel threatened, they respond with arrogance coupled with rage.
In fact, narcissistic behavior at workplace comes in all shapes and sizes. You may have to deal with controlling co-workers or controlling supervisors. Although different, both cases share some similar qualities. For example, most of the times, narcissists are fascinating and fun to be around provided they do not get the opportunity to disrespect your boundaries, be abusive or establish an obsessive behavior.
Here are some tips on how to deal with controlling people at work.
Handing a controlling co-worker
The first step in handling a controlling co-worker is to realize that these people are irrational. This will help you develop a strategy that would require you to express a genuine interest in any crazy suggestion. Inevitably, such behavior will make a controlling person feel that he/she is superior. You, on the other hand, will earn some time to develop a better strategy.
Controlling people will try to get on your nerves and infuriate you to the extent of resigning. Do not fall into their trap. If you decide to complain to your boss about a controlling co-worker, make sure to have a complete case with any relevant event and problem documented. In all likelihood, this person has caused problems before. Therefore, if you handle the situation professionally, your supervisor will take relevant action.
Controlling people are keen on stealing ideas and promoting them as their own. Make sure to protect your intellectual property. Keep a record of your daily chores and have regular meetings with your boss. In doing so, you ensure that your boss is aware that the idea is yours and how you contribute to the project.
Finally, you may ask to be transferred to another department to avoid any contact with a controlling co-worker. However, avoidance isn’t always appreciated at the workplace, so make sure to ask for a transfer when nothing else seems to work.
Handling a controlling boss
Arrogance, overconfidence, and aggression are some of the traits of narcissistic leadership. Narcissistic leaders are driven by an extreme need to praise the efficiency of their leadership style. They lack empathy for their assistants and are obsessed with dominance, power, and appreciation. They favor authoritative leadership as a way to control their employees. So how do you handle a controlling boss?
The first step is to try to understand why your boss is so controlling. What is the reason for such behavior? Do not take things personally. Realize that your boss is controlling to everyone in the company, not just you. He/she is demanding, disrespectful and controlling with everyone in the company. On one hand, this will help you to avoid setting off his temper, and on the other hand, to adapt.
Follow your boss’s orders consistently. Even if you think there are irrational claims, do what you are asked to do without arguing. Remember: it is in your best interest to build a good relationship with your boss, even if this sounds difficult with a controlling person. There are chances if you handle the situation moderately.
Make sure to give feedback about the progress of a project. By being proactive, you show that you don’t ignore your boss, thereby lowering the stress levels and the possibility of aggressive behavior. Remember: your goal is to complete your tasks competently in a relaxing working environment.
In conclusion, if you build a productive relationship with controlling people at work, you are going to gain their respect. The bottom line is that controlling people misbehave out of insecurity, thereby, feeling the need to control everyone at the workplace. Try to get the best out of each situation and, at the end of the day, maybe you are the one with a secret arrogant smile on your face.
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