How to switch from ‘powerless’ to ‘powerful’

Christina Wanke, 25th February 2016

Considering all the uncertainties and ambiguities that surround leaders every day, I believe that Steven Covey’s concept of the ‘circle of influence’ has become more vital than ever. We have a limited amount of energy to use at any time. The key is what we use it for and what we focus on.


The mindset we choose is down to each of us

People are concerned about many things and they tend to spend a lot of time and energy on all of them. When our attention is drawn to the ‘circle of concern’, where we have no chance to have any impact, we feel powerless or even anxious. How about focusing on the ones only which we can influence? When focusing on the area where we can make a difference, the more we feel empowered and in the driver’s seat.

Ask yourself as a leader:

  • What is your usual mindset?
  • In what circle do you spend most of your time?

How you can apply this valuable tool as a facilitator

When working with teams, you can use this model by taking the following steps:  

  • Ask for the current problems, concerns or challenges
  • Then refer to the model and ask them to place their inputs. How many concerns are in the outer circle, where you cannot affect t things? How many aspects are in the inner circle?
  • Raise the awareness about what happens when you stay in the outer zone. Most probably it will be a waste of time.
  • Then make your team focus on the inner circle where your immediate influence is. Start working together on these topics. Keep asking, ‘and what can we do about that?’

This approach might make a huge difference not only regarding your problem solving process, but also your team spirit.

Your inner game is just as important as the right skills and knowledge. In our one on one coaching sessions you can find out more about any toxic mindsets or behaviours and turn them into powerful and rewarding personal strategies.