I Work With A Controlling Employee

Question:

I work with a person who is so controlling that she is the cause of 3 employees’ resignations. She puts on a show of being fun loving and creative in front of the boss, but as soon as a person in authority leaves, she demeans others with her sarcasm, becomes demanding and refuses to work as a team player. She has all kinds of excuses and cries when confronted, saying that she’s working so hard to create a good workplace. The boss is aware of the situation but can’t get any observable evidence because the employee is observant and smart, along with controlling. How do I continue working with this?

Signed,

Don’t Want To Be Controlled


Answer:

Dear┬áDon’t Want To Be Controlled:

Are you really controlled? None of do. I assume you are, but why? All you have to do is to say, “Ella, thank you for your orders. I’m doing my assignment. You do yours.” Or you can say, “Let’s hammer out who does what and who makes assignments, Ella.” When she is demeaning and sarcastic, you can ask, “Is this the tone you want to use with me? I work better, Ella, when you are not sarcastic. Do you need help? I will help without demeaning remarks.” Assert yourself. Tell her, “Back off”, when she gets bossy.

You will be controlled until you come to a firm agreement on what is each of your job descriptions: who makes assignments, and who approves/disapproves of completed work. You say your boss is aware but has not actually seen her in her controlling mode, but whether or not a boss sees this problem, clarification of who does what is her/his responsibility. So enlist your boss to spell out with each of you present–your job descriptions: who makes assignments and who approves/disapproves of completed work. Get this in printed form. If your boss doesn’t clarify job descriptions, you must act. There are some things no one can do for you–such as to make you assertive when you allow yourself to be bossed by Ella.

A controlling habit has been stamped in to her make up and complying with her bossiness re-enforces it. It will not be changed by a quick-fix. The three individuals who resigned probably had other places of employment they could go to. Of course I don’t know about that, but jobs are hard to get and people don’t leave if they will be unemployed. So using that argument won’t work for you. Soooo toughen up your backbone and don’t allow Ella to walk all over you. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and you can help her understand that.

William Gorden