What Color is Control?

What Color is Control?

None of us like being controlled by someone else.  Personally, I have an antenna that is very sensitive to those around me that want to make sure things are done a certain way.  My natural instinct is to fight back (Red is the first step in my conflict sequence).  I dislike anything that feels like control.  Apparently, there are a lot of us like this.

Control is my conflict trigger.  Some people are triggered into conflict by aggressive behavior and others by being smothered in affection and emotion.  My trigger is often controlling people.  You know that person that makes a comment about how things should be done which is different than the way you are doing it!  They can come across as being superior and more knowledgeable.  Worse yet, it can feel belittling or petty.

Often in training I hear people say that it is the GREEN people that are controlling.  There is good evidence for this.  GREEN like predictability, order, codifying rules, and organization.  GREEN is described by SDI as judicious and autonomizing.  Judicious means “good judgment”.  To “autonomize” means to build systems and rules.  The GREEN MVS values doing the right thing in the right way and would like others to value doing things that way.  Remember, GREEN’s are concerned for security and safety.  For those who are BLUE and RED and HUB, the GREEN can feel awfully controlling.

But RED can be just as controlling, however, for a different reason.  RED’s desire to get things done and accomplished.  If things are not being done in such a way that moves things forward, they can also get controlling.  Control is one way a RED demands success.  You might get told what to do, how to do it, and when it better be done.

Let’s not leave out BLUE control.  BLUE’s can control things as well for the purpose of protecting people.  BLUE control may feel different from RED and GREEN but it is control nevertheless.  BLUE control is usually expressed through passive aggression because they are trying to avoid conflict.  The same is true of BLUE/GREEN and RED/BLUE and HUBS.  We all have problems with control but for different reasons.

Control is the way we demand that what is important to us is done.  It can be done from any MVS.  We need to recognize what leads us personally to be controlling.  Breaking free from control is possible when we realize what is driving our need for control.  Which of the three passions of the soul are driving the demanding controlling spirit?  (Acceptance, Security, Significance?).

We can also improve our relationships with others when we relate to others through the lens of knowing what is driving the desire for control.  By identifying the source of the need, we can better address the concerns and work together more effectively.

Let’s not get trapped into the prideful thinking that it is the GREEN’s that are controlling.  They truly are controlling… but so are RED’s, BLUE’s, and HUBS.  We are all controlling, and it damages relationships because it disrespects other’s values.  When Christ is our complete acceptance, security, and significance, the need to control others is diminished.  May you live in the fullness of Christ and His Gospel.  (To learn more about how the passions of the soul influence your MVS and control, read Three Passions of the Soul, by Bruce Terpstra).

Bruce Terpstra

Our President, Dr. Bruce Terpstra, has 36 years of pastoral ministry experience. He is a veteran of 17 years in denominational leadership and developed more than 70 new churches in the New York metro area and has given oversight to almost 400 pastors. He holds a doctorate in Leadership Development and is also the founder of 3KeyCoaching and the author of Three Passions of the Soul.