A Coaching Power Tool created by Heidi Gottlieb
(Cancer Survivor Life and Career Coaching, UNITED STATES)
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma-which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important have the courage to follow your heart and intuition-Steve Jobs
Control in numbers…if you’re one, it’s fine. If there’s more than one, this is more difficult…more room for control or controlling tendencies. In a work or business environment, someone is usually put in control or in a position of superiority, so while their decisions might not be considered the ones you would choose, they’re still the ones you will need to follow because that person is “in control”. This is a different situation than in a personal situation when even though you may be able to give your opinion, in the end the final decision may not be as easily designated or decided.
If you’re dealing with only yourself, then you’re “in control”. Who doesn’t prefer this? Who doesn’t strive for this in most areas of our lives? To a large degree we’re in control of things. We can in most cases decide what we eat, how much we weigh and how much exercise we do. To a certain extent, we can control what car we drive, where we live, what we do and when…for the most part. There are other things we can decide in more difficult situations. If we’re in medical situations we can decide (again to a certain extent) what doctor we wish to use and whether we wish to have a certain procedure done. We can choose for the most part that we personally don’t want be treated a certain way. If someone is being mean or disrespectful, we can and should take certain actions. If someone else we care about is being treated a certain way that we don’t think is fair, we can of course choose to say something about that, but we need to think what the ramifications of that will be for that person before taking such action. Will our choosing to say something provide the help we think it will provide? Is it our place to take such action? When we’re in more involved or more intimate situations, is when these things can become more complicated. When we control ourselves, we’re “in control”. When we spread out and control someone else, control becomes “controlling”. Once you start telling someone else what they need to be doing because we think it’s best for them, this in most cases will be considered controlling. If someone has asked for this, it may be considered advice, but even then, there are two people in this equation, and ultimately the person’s whose life it is, should control the decision. When you have two people involved in the same situation, either in a personal or a business situation and there needs to be a decision made, and both are used to being personally “in control”, this is difficult. If one person is to be the “decider”, they might be considered controlling. If it’s work, it’s been pre- determined…perhaps not happily for those being told what to do, but determined non-the-less. If it’s not work and the decision is a personal one, and those individuals involved are within equal control, this requires a special art of compassion, empathy and mutual consideration. These relationships are most often friendships or marriages, these situations can be very easy or very hard depending on the “control” tendencies of those involved.
If nature takes control, it’s the way nature planned it, or perhaps if we’re religious, it’s God’s will. Nature and God are often “in control” and yet we don’t often see either as controlling, we just take it in and move on; we may not agree with it at the time, but if it’s nature we know we most likely didn’t have the power to change it, and if it’s God and we’re religious, then we believe that there was a greater good or plan by the control that has been placed. Nature is a bigger power and one we can’t debate, as is God if we’re believers. We can however debate with each other…we can do this quite a bit.
This is why hierarchy is an important component to control. If we are in our own dictatorship, deciding what will be good for just us, we’ll be fine (to a certain extent), but when we co-mingle, this can become a challenge. Let’s face it, no matter who we are, there comes a time that we must all co-mingle. We will go to school, we will have jobs, we may get married, we live in families, we may have our own family, or be a medical patient. We will need to understand to what extent we can control the situation and not…that is the question. Being “in control” is about being the King of the Land-there is only room for followers in this equation, not sharers. It’s my way or the highway and if it’s your own land…then it’s your own highway. A controlled personal relationship may have quite a few participants, but very few will be happy…just controlled. Unlike a job, where the controller may be your boss and you can choose to leave, or the job lasts for a certain finite amount of time and it’s time to move on…“friendships” are more complicated. In these relationships it takes two to tango. Does one need to be the Controller and one the Controllee? This can not last, this should not last. It should be addressed. We mostly are able to be in charge of ourselves, unless the circumstances are special, due to illness or inability. We will be in charge of our children up to a certain age, and even then those that we love so much and have nurtured so long, we’ll need to know when to continue to help-to not raise…to not control.