12 ian. 2015

On ''locus of control'' (2)

On ''locus of control'' (1)

Locus is the Latin word for “place”, “location”. Control is the English – and some other languages - word for.. control. It is a rarely used word in coaching body knowledge, and is mostly used to point out what is not appropriate to do in a coaching relation, or how harmful could be a controlling environment. In the very stem cell of a coaching approach – The Inner Game – “control” is a feature of Self 1, the judgemental one, the one who embody all the attempts the others tried to influence someone’s life, to prevent a person to fulfill her/his potential. In the very spirit of locus of control definition, a close look where the client locates control is helpful: working to raise awareness and choices in order to place it on a more useful position on that continuum between internal and external, will reinforce trust and commitment to follow the action plan she/he has chosen.

Following a classic GROW model, we can seize easily that neither extreme internal locus of control, nor extreme external is appropriate to go further to the desired change: the client could fail to accomplish an action plan thinking she/he has full control over something out of his true reality, or she/he can’t observe what options are at hand, because of giving too much importance to external control. Some questions about where the client ‘’has control’’ are good to explore, to clarify and to set a realistic goal, to choose a workable option, to design a valuable action plan, and to secure a true will. More than that, in many situations, the very placement of the locus of control is the limiting belief which stops client to achieve the desired outcome, as we can notice reading a pair of sentences which are part of the list for measure where a person use to place control:

a. In the long run people get the respect they deserve in this world.

b. Unfortunately, an individual's worth often passes unrecognized no matter how hard he tries.

It is obvious that the first phrase reflects a belief to welcome growing. Few questions could steward the individual to challenge the second, to change it.

During the career path, the placement of locus of control could have a significant influence through the way individuals relate to responsibility, to courage, their potential, and to self-actualization. Researches shown that men are more likely to be internal than women, also the internal seems to be specific for people developing a higher career. Aristotle said you are what you do more often, so we could say “we are what location we live in more often: internal or external”. However, none of  the extremes are good. Cherish internal locus too much could be psychologically challenging if the individual is not equipped with the needed competence and attention to opportunities, a realistic understanding of the world, otherwise they could experience failure, not success.  On the other hand, people with external locus can lead relaxed, easy-going lives. Overall, having an internal locus of control is likely to be more achievement oriented, get jobs better paid.

In Leonardo da Vinci drawing we could notice a lot of work on designing a workable wing, but the body is in charge of.controlling the flight, and of.. seizing the useful wind.

The good news is that the placement of control can be learned. Especially at the beginning of a career is good to practice being in control, to gain trust and guts. Control placement is a habit – we ‘’locus’’ what we use to live in, but we could practice another placement. Reinforcement of internal locus of control, paying attention to circumstances, and value reality, is a valuable coaching approach. There is a nice line by R. W. Emerson: “When me they fly, I am the wings”

Magda Bunea