Speheres of Influence

by RJ on May 2, 2012

Spheres of Influence


How many of you feel frustrated with your job or life every once in a while? Do you feel that you can’t do everything? Have you ever been in a situation where the outcome is not in your control or influence?

You’re not alone, there is only so much that you have control over. Let’s take a look at your sphere of influence. Look at these three concentric circles as pictured below.





The only thing that fits in the inner sphere is your behavior. That’s about all that you can truly

control. As you grow into the second sphere are areas that you can sometimes influence, like your children, spouse, fellow employees, peers, management, neighbors, etc. Outside the next sphere exists things that are out of your control of influence. These are items like the weather, the stock market, other people’s actions, etc.

One of the major causes of stress in a person’s life is trying to control what is out of your sphere of influence. The belief that you can control the behavior of others, including those you supervise, leads to stress and self-doubt when you fail to do so. You can try to influence people by communicating your expectations concerning positive or negative behavior, but only they can change their own behavior.

You must take control of your own sphere of influence. Don’t wait for someone else like upper management to do something. You only have a limited amount of time and energy every day to accomplish your goals. Where do you want to focus that time and energy? Do you have any goals today? Are they written down with a time limit when they should be done? It’s very important that you take control of the actions that are under your sphere of influence before someone else does it for you or tries to take control of your sphere of influence.

Your sphere of influence can overlap with others, that’s why cooperation and teamwork on the job is so important, so that everyone influences and leads in the same direction. The group needs to understand organizational mission statements, goals and objections. If the group is not on the same page, has bought into the project or believes in the final outcome and goal, then the sphere of influence is broken and has gaps. The same principals are in play with your personal life at home. If the family does not believe or understand in the goals then the sphere is clouded with dotted lines. Everyone has to understand the direction that the family must take to survive and grow especially today in the financial crises that we are experiencing.

Today more than ever we must live within our means and take a serious look at our financial picture. Many people are in serious credit card debt, have homes that are under their original purchase price and some worth less than the mortgage. Many people are without jobs, have 401K statements that are worth far less than they were 10 years ago. The American dream has been shattered and new college graduates are without jobs and have huge debts that cannot be removed by bankruptcy.

There’s a famous prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr that goes.

“Grant me the courage to change the things I can change; the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; and the wisdom to know the difference”

Live your life with less stress when you understand the sphere of influence and where you fit in the circle. Good luck out there.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: