Control is Good, Trust is Better!

Updated: Nov 1, 2019


It feels good to have control (pull the strings) of strategy, decisions, others etc. doesn't it. And not feeling in control can make us anxious, uncomfortable, frustrated, angry and even defiant or resistant.


When it comes to ourselves there are only certain things we can control. For example we can't always control the situation or environment we are in, we can't control how others treat us, we can't control decisions made by others etc. We can try and influence these things but we can't control it. We can't control our emotions, but we can control how we react to our emotions e.g. we can feel angry and choose to take a few deep breaths or we can lash out in some way or another.


When it comes to others - co-workers, bosses, employees, customers, suppliers etc. there can be a natural tendency to want to exert contol over them. Why? We want to be successful but we need the help of others, so we attempt to control (micro manage, punish, narrow the work scope and/or decision scope, etc.) what and how things get done in an effort to get the outcome we want. Why else? Perhaps a low level of trust - they can't do it as good as me or if they fail I fail, etc.


The thing is we don't like being controlled! You just have to look at what happens when you introduce a change that others haven't had input to or that is simply thrust upon them with a 'demand' or expectation that it gets done - resistance increases, engagement decreases. #changereadiness

"Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships." ~ Stephen Covey


If on the other hand we could let go of some control and have more trust #bechangefit in our ability to engage, motivate, lead, etc. and in the ability of others to do their best there would be more engagement, less resistance, potentially less time spent (assuming people are trained and supported, goals and tasks clear) and it would be cheaper.


One of the foundations of a high performing team or company is trust. If leaders are trusted they will be followed, if companys are trusted customers will buy.


It seems simple, yet it is often difficult. Trust has to be earned and built up through processes, leadership, values, decisions, behaviour etc. and supported through training, rewards, space to learn and grow.


One thing is for sure though we cannot control everything or everyone and trying to do so can only cause stress, and pain. Trust is better!