Research shows that those who perceive they have a higher sense of control over their lives demonstrate better mental health, live healthier and live longer. It’s called locus of control and everyone is on the continuum somewhere, representing their overall belief in their ability to influence their lives. And it affects your performance as well.
1. When your sense of control is greater, you are less likely to accept the way things are and assume a victim position. For instance, when one of your staff hand you their work that you know they can do better, you will challenge them to raise their performance instead of just fixing their mess and bemoaning about how subpar they are.
2. When your sense of control is greater, you are more likely to engage your creativity and innovation to solve problems. For instance, rather than just accepting your client’s behavior of delayed or crappy information, you will find other ways to stimulate them to get you what you need.
3. When your sense of control is greater, you are more likely to change your thinking and behavior to get better. For instance, you actively seek new skills, habits and disciplines instead of doing the same things over again and expecting to improve.
I found a fairly simple and free Locus of Control assessment online that will give you an indication of your level of perceived control. It’s a 15 minute, 47 question questionnaire that, if you answer honestly, will give you a score of where you are on the continuum.
BTW, these Monday messages are all derived from behavior science and written with the intent for you to improve yourself, your work, and your relationships. Each week offers something to do differently that, collectively, will make you a stronger performer. So take control of yourself.