So, You Think You Can Control Your Team? Think Again.

Control: Determine the behavior of; to exercise authoritative or dominating influence over; to hold in restraint;

Old models of authority are gradually giving way to new models of individuality, freedom, interdependence, cooperation and respect. We are not there yet, but it is time for managers and organizations to start creating new models of interaction for their teams.

Many younger workers are already demonstrating these new models in start-up companies, as entrepreneurs or as team members. Sometimes younger workers, and older ones as well, come up against old models and many misconceptions result – “they have no work ethic”, “they do not care”. In many cases, this is not true. They are honoring their values and rejecting control. Sometimes, however, workers are taking advantage and not doing their part – that is not a new model, it is irresponsible and has no place in your workplace.

What benefits await you as you create new models? Team members will be running on their own steam. You will receive full benefit of their skills, talents and enthusiasm. They will have a voice in the team and a level of independence that allows them to work freely and creatively (not under restraint). Values of cooperation and respect will lead to individual accountability that gets the work done.

How can you get started? Initiate a dialogue with your team members about what conditions will enhance their productivity and satisfaction. Assess your organization’s willingness to accept new models. Gradual change is fine. Spend some creative time on your own, looking back on your management experience to what conditions created the best results, as well as those that didn’t. Think about how you like to work and if that would be good for your team. Most importantly, let go of your confidence in old models of control. They are dying and change is on the horizon.

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