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Control Freaks Manipulation Placating Power Plays and Players

How do you deal with a manager who sounds friendly and interested in the employees' ideas, but underneath this facade insists that everything be done her way? She uses all sorts of fancy management language, and she talks about employee empowerment, but it is nothing more than talk.

In the political arena, this type of leader is referred to as a benevolent dictator. Under her leadership, you are free to do whatever you want, as long as you do whatever she wants.

She may have considerable ability to absorb managerial concepts and then verbalize them, such as her talk about employee empowerment, but she does not realize the value that is associated with applying this type of principle. The only empowerment that truly interests her is her own.

Some employees appreciate the structure, predictability, and security that are associated with her style of management. There is minimal risk-taking, minimal decision-making, and minimal change. Of course, this also means that there tends to be minimal opportunity for creativity, individuality, and personal growth.

If these latter factors are important to you, the reality is that you are not likely to find them under this manager. However, you should still try to discuss your ideas and inputs with her, and be sure that you provide compelling and factual support for your suggestions. It is possible that she may open the door to your inputs. At the same time, if this door is permanently locked, perhaps it is time for you to be thinking about a different door at this company.

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