Locus of control

In Uncategorized on July 14, 2009 at 9:25 am

Stephen Covey in his 7 habits talks about how to focus on things that you can control. This is one of the best advices anyone can get. People often get frustrated with things that they cannot control. Why is it raining today on my parade? Why is my coworker not showing up for work but gets the same perks as I do? Why has the deadline for the deliverable changed again? It is easy to get frustrated with the numerous things that go on around you.

However, if you can take a step back and think about what things you can influence and what things you have to accept for what they are can make a big difference in your experience. You may not be able to control why your coworker does not show up for work on time. However, you can be regular about yourself & do your job well. In the long term, it gets you noticed. Also, it is not always about being in the office physically. A different perspective is to look at whether the job gets done. Similarly, if the deadline for your work has changed, what can you do to get it done? If not, have a reasonable conversation with your manager about adding additional resources or changing the scope.

Once I was in a meeting where the superior asked us for our opinion on the company’s bonus cut policy. People went on and on about how their budget is impacted, mortgage payments are hurt, how they need the money, etc. When it was my turn, I told him that it is nice of you to ask. But this is not in your control, it is the company’s new policy & the current economy is not good. It is what it is. This raw reality helped the rest of the team to accept it and move on. Also, it highlighted me as the person who separates emotions from facts.

Focusing on what is in your control can help to reduce your frustration. It helps to keep a cool head and accept reality of things not within your influence. It helps to carry yourself better at work & helps to make you stand apart from the crowd.

You may also be interested in the article on how to deal with change.

  1. […] may also be interested on how to focus on things you can control. ▶ One Response /* 0) { jQuery('#comments').show('', change_location()); […]

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