Hello. Isn’t this weather fabulous? I just wanted to write a post today about how a young woman increased her influence over something that really concerned her at work.

When I deliver my training programmes I meet many people who say ‘I dont have any influence over the organisational changes, I am a small cog in a big wheel’ stuff like that.. Feeling we have no power or no kind of influence at all can be a very disempowering place, we can feel swept along, no choice..

A young woman  on one of my programmes said that she was really worried about where she would be working given all the changes in the organisation; she explained that she could be based where she was now, or moved to another location across the city. The latter would mean real difficulty for her as she had two small children and child care was going to be a problem financially if she had to travel. She said that she spent about 80% of her time at work and home worrying about this, she felt powerless, no choice..no ‘voice’

We did a small exercise during the programme, where people drew two circles one inside the other, the inner circle is labelled ‘circle of influence’ and the outer one labelled ‘circle of concern’. The inner circle represents all those things over which you have direct influence, the outer, the things that concern you but you have limited or no influence over them.

In her outer circle she put ‘work place’, it certainly concerned her if she was spending 80% of her mental energy thinking about it!! In her circle of influence she put things like, ‘how I think’, ‘how I feel’ etc.

Through a series of short questions she asked herself what could she do to bring  something of her work place concern into her circle of influence, at first she said ‘absolutely nothing, its not up to me where I work, I will be moved along with others, depending on where the managers end up moving to, I can’t bring anything into my circle of influence because I am just a small part of the bigger team’

Suddenly she realised, by asking herself a few more specially designed questions, that she could influence something: she could inform herself better about the moving process, she could speak to her manager about the potential difficulties, she could find out more about local child care, she could talk to her parents….suddenly her circle of influence was growing!

You see, oftentimes, we keep ourselves in a place of fear by what we are thinking or saying to ourselves. This young woman was repeatedly telling herself she had no power, no choice and subsequently this prevented her for taking some relatively simple steps to inform herself  and to prepare herself more with knowledge about the process and her options. Fear is a strange thing, it can paralyse our thinking processes and stop us seeing what we could do to alter our perceptions.

Her circle of influence started to grow as she took charge of her thinking, she may not be in a position to influence where she would work, but she didn’t know that for sure, however she WAS in a position to influence her state of mind about the move and her choices.

As your circle of influence grows you feel better about the situation. If you would like more information on the questions or the process please dont hesitate to email me and I will send you the info.

best wishes, stay strong..until next time…

web: www.cmcconsulting.org email: christine@cmcconsulting.org