One of the more uncertain environments we grapple with is at our workplaces—with the people, managers and customers we encounter, the tasks we’re given, even our tenure. If there are two things likely to cause us stress it’s our work/vocation or our relationships. Work involves both. And if bullying is something known to us, personally, it’s most certainly going to happen within the workplace.
Controlling uncertainties at work is likely to be a fundamental concern for everyone.
Understanding What We Can And Cannot Control
Control can be thought of as a two-way street. Some things we control, whether we like that fact or not, and other things we don’t. Courage is required if we have control, to be decisive, but acceptance is what we most need if we don’t have control—both per the Serenity Prayer.
Breaking control down in simple terms like this can help. So can just knowing we exist in the same world, all of us.
There are powers that bear themselves over us in our world—things we both must control or can’t control—and working toward a humble acceptance is a blessed activity. We redeem peace for our efforts.
Taking Control And Accepting Others’ Control At Work
So, this is both our challenge and our opportunity. Where we have control we take it. Where we don’t have control we gracefully accede to others who have charge.
Most workplace situations, however, present with blurred lines, indiscriminate as to who overtly or covertly has control. We may have partial control and people may look to us, thinking we are more or less in charge than we actually are. Likewise, we may hold the same views of others. Where lines of accountability are blurred conflict occurs. It’s unfair on everyone.
But the more we bear in mind the things we have control over versus the things we don’t, the more wellbeing and peace we can enjoy—if things can be broken down that simply.
The more we can live this way, accepting the blurred lines between the clear, and taking control when we have it and relinquishing our resistance when others have control, again the more tranquillity we will enjoy. And that’s not to be taken for granted in a workplace situation.
Controlling uncertainties at work is about accepting the things we cannot change, having the courage to change the things we can, and having the wisdom to know the difference (Serenity Prayer).
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.