I just drove to work on a rain-soaked highway. Slippery surfaces caused traffic to slow. Or, so I thought at first. Actually the slippery surface was a condition and what actually caused traffic to slow was the reflexive good sense of the drivers responding to the condition.
When we sense or perceive a lack of control, we tend to slow down.
Weird, I know, but I just kept pursuing that line of thinking, and applied it to the workplace. What ultimately influences whether a person speeds up or slows down on the job? I think it has to do with a sense of control stemming from conditions that are not as objective as a slippery highway.
In fact, the conditions are quite subjective and open for interpretation. In victim thinking, much of the “my input doesn’t count” and “there’s nothing I can do” mentality is often more perception than reality. People unduly limit their influence and stew in the consequences without even realizing it.
Far from “there is nothing I/we can do,” there is virtually no end to what committed minds can do when they see how many options they truly have and how many creative solutions can be generated out of a “we can and we will” mentality.
The Key to transforming victim thinking into owner thinking—as individuals and as teams—is to teach people where their Locus of Control actually lies and lead them to an appreciation of the spectacular personal benefits that come from exerting control where control will succeed.