Develop an internal locus of control

Are you living your life or is your life living you? How much in control do you feel about what is happening to you? People who have what psychologist call an internal locus of control will have a good sense of being able to control (or at least influence) key aspects of their lives, both at work and at home. Someone with an external locus of control, by contrast, tends to have little sense of control and can pay a price for that in terms of lower confidence higher stress levels and so on. In a very real sense, having an external locus of control is a form of self-disempowerment, a way of putting obstacles in your own way. So, it is important to be clear about what you can control and make things happen accordingly rather than surrender to being a passive victim of circumstance.

Direct concerns to where the power is

A phenomenon I have come across many times in many organizations is for matters of dissatisfaction to act as a basis for moaning sessions (which do little good) and for the concerns or dissatisfactions not to be channelled in the direction of a person or group who can potentially do something about the problem. There is often a fear that if issues are raised the person(s) raising them will be seen as troublemakers, but it all depends on how the issues are raised. If they are raised in a confrontational approach, don’t be surprised if the response is a defensive one (and some people, of course, will act on the basis that attack is the best form of defence). Raising concerns sensibly and sensitively with the people who have the power to do something about it will do far more good than feeding low morale by just feeding low morale through moaning.