What do we control?

Sun, Apr 11, 2021 2-minute read

What do we control? The Stoics say we can only control our actions and behaviors.

If we can only control our actions and behaviors, what do we gain by trying to control the conversations we are in?

Instead of attempting to control the conversation, we want our goals and behavior to move our conversations and communication in a manner to meet our goals. Another way to look at this is to focus on the process of communication to ensure we move in a cooperative manner.

Focusing on what we control in a conversation helps to minimize emotional swings, and helps focus on the process. Focusing on the process of using solid communication skills, building relationships, and using emotional intelligence helps us to move toward our goals.

Understanding what we control lets us look at how we contribute to the conversation and our impact on the conversation, showing us where and what we can improve.

Not every conversation, meeting, or communication attempt is going to move us forward. Some may move us backward. Others may not be neutral.

Many times our goal might be to leave with everyone feeling good about themselves and the conversation. 

For your next conversation, take a few minutes to think about your goal for the conversation and how you want people to feel. Manage the skills, actions, and behavior in your control to reach your conversational goal. It will greatly improve the outcome of many conversations.