Tag Archives: out of control


“But, there were reasons that the team didn’t hit their output target. Materials were late, a machine broke down, and Fred didn’t show up for work,” Dalton explained. “Ever since I got promoted from supervisor to manager, it seems like everything lands on me.”

“Indeed it does. How does that feel?” I asked.

“I fell overwhelmed. There are so many more moving parts. And, my manager expects me to anticipate and prevent things going wrong.”

“So, what do you think is causing your distress?” I prodded.

“It’s my manager, all the stuff that is going on around me,” Dalton commiserated.

“And, how do you feel about that?” I continued.

“Frozen. I don’t know what to do next. When I was a supervisor, I just had to react and fix. But, now, fixing doesn’t happen fast enough. There is too much going on,” Dalton breathed.

“How do you find calm?”

Dalton stopped. “Calm?”

“Sometimes you have to slow down, so you can go fast. How do you find calm?”


Ron took a moment to reflect on the way he felt during the heated discussion the week before at the management team meeting. “We have already established that there was a knot in my stomach. When Jim and Fred went after each other, at first I was surprised. Then, I went into self protection mode, wondering if the expressed emotions would swing around to me. As the leader, sometimes I feel like everyone depends on me to control situations like this, especially if they are out of control.”

“That’s a good start,” I said.

“Oh. I wouldn’t tell the team that, I thought this was just between you and me,” Ron replied.

“Right now, it is just between you and me. What version of that would you consider sharing with the team?”

“Well, I wouldn’t want them to see me as some sort of a weak leader,” Ron reflected. “So, I would probably leave out the part about me not being in control.”

“Do you really think you were ever in control,” I asked. “Control is a funny thing, sometimes just an illusion. Do you think it is important that the team always sees you in control, even when you are not?”

“Can’t I at least pretend?”

“You can, but how will the team come to some resolution if you pretend to be in control?”