Re: Control Issues

Subject: Re: Control Issues
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2005 15:47:31 -0600


Of course, you did not give examples of the "control issues" you face.
Perhaps a few individual comments, then, could be in order:

First, it may seem a cliche, but what happens may be out of your
control, but how you feel about it is definitely yours to control.
Many of us become so invested in what we do that we become defensive
and object to others who do not agree.

Add to this the rapidly changing environment with no clear leadership
and you have a recipe for something of a disaster.

There are some interpersonal techniques that may help. For example,
when someone says or writes to you something that you want to blow up
over, you might respond first with:

"Let me test my understanding...if I am correct, you are saying that
XXX. Have you taken YYY into account?"

The "YYY" is, of course, what you perceive to be the disadvantages of
the approach you object to...but in a manner that is more collegial
and helpful and more difficult to object to by the other person. It
also gives him or her a way out of a situation they may not have
thought through very well.

A second method that works wonders is to single out the primary people
who seem to be the roadblocks you face. Approach each one informally,
with a "Let me ask for your help on this point I don't quite
understand..." First, people love being consulted. Second, they are
disarmed when approached like this--and you may be able to get
cooperation in solving a problem and begin to make them your ally
rather than you opponent. A variation of this theme might be something
along the lines of "Formerly, we did thus-and-so because of
this-and-that. I was wondering how you coped with these situations,
and with the merger of our organizations, how might we come up with a
method that uses the best practices of both. What do you think?"

To me, "control issues" can involve several different things: who has
responsibility for a given deliverable, perhaps, or what kind of
deliverables there are to be and how they are to be presented. Since
your manager seems not to want to be involved, I'd consider
approaching your colleagues with the idea that it would be extremely
helpful if you all worked out what your preferred roles are to be and
what the deliverables should look like--to take to the manager as a
more finished proposal. Again, involving the whole group as a team
would be extremely helpful in these cases.

Meanwhile, in your off hours, I would be polishing my resume!



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Control Issues: From: Wanda Phillips

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