natiF. | Functional Wellness
natiF. | Functional Wellness

Episode · 1 year ago

Locus of Control and Workplace Performance, Stress, Satisfaction and Happiness


Current research supports that our personality is not the best predictor for job performance, because there are some personality traits that are valued in some jobs and different ones valued in others. Although there are some personality traits that are considered more desirable to have for success in the workplace (i.e.
conscientiousness), the majority of them have their major pros and cons.  

However, when discussing locus of control, it is evidently clear that having an internal locus of control is superior to having an external locus. Additionally, our locus of control has the power to permeate through our self-efficacy, self-esteem, ability to become successful, our overall well-being, our motivation, our attitudes; and even our ability to make decisions. Therefore, it is crucial that individuals work on developing this internal locus.  

But, it appears to me as though there exists this locus of control paradox: if you have an external locus, and believe that your efforts will not be able to change your own mindset, then how are you ever supposed to develop an internal locus? If you already have an internal locus, then you are well aware that you are able to change your way of thinking.  

Therefore, in this podcast, I will explore how it is that someone with an external locus of control can be brought to realize that they are in control of their own actions, and own destiny, in a way that can be easily implemented in their own life.   


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Hi and welcome to native, where I discussed with the experts how to feel better, live better and do better in your everyday life. Hey everyone, welcome back to another episode of native. This episode is going to be a little bit different from my usual episodes. Rather than doing an interview style podcast, I'm going to be by myself today discussing a topic that you may already be familiar with, and that is the idea of locusts of control. Specifically, I'm going to explore the way that our locusts of control influences are satisfaction and performance, both at work and in our everyday lives, to preface some of the ideas that I'll be discussing in the episode. When it comes to research on the best predictors of workplace success, a lot of emphasis has been placed on our personality. Our personality is made up of a combination of characteristics or qualities or traits that form an individual's distinctive character. However, research is shown the personality is actually not the best predictor of job performance because the same select personality traits are not desirable for every single job. In most cases, a trait that is highly desirable for one job may not be desirable for another. For example, take the case of competitiveness. Being highly competitive would be advantageous for someone that's an elite athlete, but may actually hinder the individual when it comes to rules that require group collaboration. Although competitive competitiveness is an attractive quality when competing against an opposing team, it becomes a problem when there arises unhealthy competition amongst members of the same team. Although there are some personality traits that are considered desirable overall for success in the workplace, namely conscientiousness, like in the case of competitiveness, most personality traits come with their pros and cause. However, when it comes to another topic usually grouped in conversations about personality, the idea of locus of control, is clear that one type of locus is superior to the other. Additionally, our locus of control has the power to per meat throughout our ideas about our selfficacy, our self esteem, our motivation, our attitude, our ability to make decisions or ability to become successful and our overall health and well being. So, before we dive into our discussion on a first make sure we're all on the same page by briefly describing what a locus of control is and the difference between the two types of lows ie. The term locust is a Latin word for place or location. Thus, you can think of locus hasuent of control as essentially meaning the place or location of control. This theory was originally developed by Julian rotter in Theif S and S S, where he defines locus of control as a moderating personality characteristic. Where locus of control is concerned with the degree to which individuals perceive themselves as being in control of their lives and the events that influence their lives, or the degree of control individuals perceive themselves to possess in regard to the consequences of their own behaviors. There are two types of low side, internal and external. Individuals that have an external locus of control tend to attribute the events that happen in their lives to things like luck or fake chance, strong forces that they cannot overcome. Thus, these individuals attribute causality to external forces. Individuals with an internal locus of control tend to attribute the events that happen in their lives two forces, such as their own skills that are within their circle of control. Thus individuals attribute causality to personal forces. If you want to know if you have more of an internal or an external locust, think back to a time where you received a poor mark on a test. Why do you think you got that mark? Take a second. If you says something along the lines of the test was unfair, I didn't have my lucky pencil, or I wasn't good at the subject, then those answers are more characteristic...

...of an external locus of control. If you said that the reason you got the poor grade was because you didn't study enough or because you're up to it too late, watching Netflix the night before and you didn't get a good night's sleep, then those answers are more characteristic of an internal locus of control. When it comes to the idea of locus of control and success and work in life, the literature heavily supports that an internal locus of control is superior to an external one. Therefore, at this point, I want it takes some time to go over some of the research that highlights the differences between individuals with an internal versus external locus of control. Firstly, locus of control plays a role in job stress, performance and satisfaction, and a two thousand and eight study examining the locus of control on job stress, job performance and job satisfaction on accountants in Taiwan, results showed that locus of control plays an important role in predicting the level of job satisfaction, stress and performance in CPA firms. Individuals with a higher internal locusts are more likely to have lower levels of job stress and higher levels of job performance and satisfaction. This is especially interesting considering that most internal locust research has been conducted on Western individualistic cultures rather than eastern collectivist cultures. However, it appears as though in cases of high job in security, having an internal locus of control exhibits less of a positive effect on job performance. In a two thousand and ten study examining occupational self efficacy, Work Locus of Control and communication as moderators of the job in security job performance relationship, results revealed that the higher the job in security, the less influence work loth to work locus of control and perceived communication exert on the job in security performance relationship. Instead, employees performance has been shown to be moderately hampered by job in security, where work locus of control may only increase performance and situations of low job in security. Interestingly, the two thousand and seventeen study found that among individuals working in tax textile textile companies in Pakistan, a high internal locusts and high spiritual intelligence showed increased performance and lowered stress. In this case, they found that spiritual intelligence is associated with increased internal locus of control amongst employees, where spiritual intelligence can be defined as the capacity of an individual to possess a socially relevant purpose in life by understanding the self and having a high degree of conscience, compassion and commitment to human values. Additionally, leaders and top executives are more likely to possess an internal locus of control. A two thousand and seventeen studies show that the locus of control of talk top executives was found to bear a direct and significant relationship to their nature of corporate strategy. CEOS with an internal locus of control where more likely to pursue more product market innovation, undertake greater risks and lead rather than follow competitors. When it comes to leaders, there have emerged too broad classes of leadership, style transactional and transforming. Transactional leaders have something that the follower wants like money, and the transforming leader personally identifies with their followers. A two thousand and fourteen study on the influence of locus of Control and decision making capacity among the leadership styles concluded that an internal locust is related most closely to transformational leadership and leadership in general. Additionally, majority of participants with an internal locus of control adopt a leadership style centered on tasks, displaying a pragmatic spirit, perseverance, higher responsibility in establishing and achieving objectives, applying new, efficient procedures and making decisions for...

...organizing their own work and that of their subordinates and their marketing activities, as well as using resources efficiently. Lastly, the study concluded that internal and externally oriented leaders differed in terms of their decision making capacity, where internal oriented leaders make better decisions. Lastly, research shows that there exists a relationship between happiness and locus of control. Were those with an internal locus of control are more likely to be happier. In a two thousand and fifteen study testing to and your college students on the relationship between happiness, self control and locus of Control, results show that happiness is positively and significantly related to self control and that self control was the strongest predictor for happiness. Additionally, the study suggested suggested that self control is positively and significantly related to locus of control, where the more self control an individual perceives, the more likely they have an internal locus of control. Additionally, another two thousand and eighteen study on happiness, creative ideation and locus of control concluded that there was a significant difference on happiness measures found for those with an internal versus external locus, where those with an internal locus were reported as happier. Further there were also a significant positive relationship with happiness and creative ideation, or the ability to come up with creative ideas. Thus, feelings of happiness are said to have a direct effect on the creative cognitive process, where creative people are more likely to possess characteristics like self confidence, self sufficiency and cheerfulness. So how does one develop an external locus of control? Is it because they are, as simply, lazy and motivated and full of excuses? The research points to know some of the reasons an individual may adopt more of an external locusts includes learned helplessness and culture. Learned helplessness occurs in situations where an individual has lost control over major aspects of their life and now has a belief that they have no control over their life and what happens to them. For example, someone living in extreme poverty or someone that's homeless would most likely suffer from learned helplessness because they lack the financial freedom to meet their basic needs. Additionally, those that live in a collectivist culture, such as East most eastern countries, are less likely to be internally oriented than those who live in an individual as culture. So, for example, the Western countries like Canada and America, for example, one two thousand and what study examining culture and entrepreneurial potential found? The individualistic cultures had an increased likelihood of internal locus of Control Orientation, even though an internal locus of control and innovativeness are considered too home merk traits of entrepreneurial potential. Thus, research supports that both learned helplessness and culture can predispose an individual to adopting an external locus of control. However, it seems as though we are left with the problem, which I've called the paradox of the internal locus of control. If someone has a strong external locus of control and believe that they have no control over their life, then how are they able to come to believe that they have enough control as to change their own logus of control? So now the question is, are those of us with an external locus of control doomed? Luckily, the answers are confident. No, but I thought at first was a paradox of the internal locus of control. Upon further research, I realize that this paradox actually cannot exist, because our low side of control exists on a gradient and they're not mutually exclusive. All of us follow on a spectrum between internal and external. Therefore, it is perfectly possible to shift positions on the...

...scale in order to move to the most optimal place where you understand that you're in control of your own life, without placing an unnecessary burden on yourself to be responsible for that which is completely out of your control. There's also mor good news. Is actually easier to move from an external move from an external to an internal locus, rather than the other way around. Moreover, research is shown that it takes only four minutes to become more internal, where one study found that participants developed more of an internal locust when shown a four minute motivational video before a task. However, when participants were shown a four minute video about having lack of control, such as a video about irreversible climate change, participants actually didn't become more external. So how can you move your way down the spectrum towards more of an internal locus of control? First, I'll be discussing some tips that can be applied to everyone, and then I will go over tips that can be applied to those that are parents, teachers, leaders and or managers, where these individuals have the addiptional responsibility to enable others to move towards more of an internal locus. So the seven tips for individuals. First tip is to meditate. In between stimulus and response, there is a space, and in this space lives your power to choose your response. The act of meditation invites you to notice what's going on in your body, your mind and your surroundings, bring awareness to it and let it go. Meditating is a way to practice your internal locus of control, because you are exercising your power not to react to your thoughts and feelings, but rather to bring attention back to your breath at its most fundamental level. When you practice gaining control over your own mind and body, you begin to realize that this expands into controlling many other aspects of your life. The second is to adopt positive control language. How you use your language has a drastic impact on your perceptions, experiences and quality of life. Practice shifting your language from a victim to a power perspective. Rather than saying I have to go to the gym, or have to clean my house, or I have to go work on that project for my boss, try instead saying I get the opportunity to go to the gym today and I get to clean this beautiful house that I'm so fortunate to live in, and my boss has entrusted me specifically to work on this project because I'm the best person for the job. By switching your I have to use too, I get to us and I want to use your actions become your choice and thus within your control. When you believe that you have a sense of choice, you will be more self motivated. Also, give yourself credit where it's do. If you get a good mark on a test or receive positive feedback from your boss, refrain from saying things like Oh, I got lucky, or my boss must have been in a good mood that day, and instead replace those statements where with things like I studied really hard for that test, or I worked really hard on that last project and I felt that I did a great job. Positive self talk goes hand in hand with power language. It's very difficult, if not impossible, to use power language when your own self talk is constantly disempowering you. If you found, if you find that you're habitually putting yourself down, ask yourself three questions. First, is what I'm saying true? Second, is what I'm saying necessary, and three, is what I'm saying improving upon the silence? We've all heard the saying if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it, and this rule applies to yourself as well. My advice is to use meditation to bring awareness to how you talk to yourself and work on consciously correcting yourself talk patterns. After regularly making a conscious effort to improve yourself talk,... will become habit and will be begin to move into your subconscious where you don't have to think about it anymore. The third is take responsibility for everything. This one is probably the most difficult, especially if you are far to the external side of the spectrum. The comfort and having an external locusts of control is that it provides us with excuses to fail and we're not take action to reach our goals and aspirations. To illustrate with this, to illustrate this with an example, imagine that you want to get chosen to work on a specific project at work. If you never make it known to your boss that you want to work on this project because you figure that Sally's probably going to get it and your boss likes her better sociill get chosen, then you can't say you failed because you never put yourself out there and you never tried. Placing the fate of your life in the hands of other people may be easier and makes you feel better about yourself in the short run, but it is much worse than the long run. The key here is to realize that the goal of having an internal locus of control is not to make yourself feel bad by blame me yourself all the time, but knowing that you have the power to control all aspects of your life. To quote Stanley's most famous line from spider man, with great power comes great responsibility. Thus, in order to move towards an internal locus of control, you must try and change your perceptions of events in your life by thinking about what you can do differently in the event of failure. In the short run, you'll probably feel bad about yourself because you're really because you're realizing the both most of what you've been complaining about is your fold, but later on you'll experience a sense of freedom and power that will make you much better off in the long run. The fourth is to focus on attitude and behavior. All of us have the circle of Control that we have the power to contract and expand to include the elements of our lives that we feel that we have control over. Everything inside the circle we have control over, and everything outside is out of our control. However, there are some things in our lives that we think we can control or try to control, that we actually don't have any control over, namely other people. When we try to control things outside of our control, especially in the case of other people, we end up feeling anxious, angry and hopeless, thus trying to exert control over things we can concure control or trying to exert too much control can actually cause you to feel less in control of your your own life. You've probably experienced something like this with your friend or partner, where you've expected or try to get them to do something that they didn't want to do and it backfired on you. At this point, it's important to point out the difference between influence and control. We have the power to influence people in our circle, but not directly control them. However, we do have absolute control over our attitudes and our behavior. Our attitude is the lens through which we see the world and how we interpret information, and our behavior are our actions or how we react to information that we receive. Our behavior and attitudes are intimately related, where if we view something in a positive way, we are more likely to react in a positive way. For example, if one of your friends makes a joke about your new haircut, you're more likely to laugh and receive it as lighthearted than if someone you didn't like made the same joke. Therefore, the solution to try and to control things we can control, like other people, is to instead focus on our own attitude and behaviors. In this case, we move our attitude and behaviors inside our circle of control and we move the actions of other people outside. At this point I want to be specific about the last teg tip, which is take responsibility for everything. By saying that you should take responsibility for everything,...'s taking responsibility for everything within your circle of control. The actions of other people can never be within your circle of control because they live within their own circle of control. However, this doesn't mean that you get to escape responsibility. For example, if you got to fight with your boyfriend because he didn't do the dishes and escalated into a yelling match, you don't get to say that you add no responsibility in that fight because it was your boyfriend that didn't do the dishes. Instead, your responsibility was in the way that you interpreted him not doing the dishes. So your attitude and the way that you handle the fight by yelling, your behavior. The fifth is to create a positive environment. This one's super simple. If the people in your immediate circle that you spend the most time with are very externally oriented, it's very going to be very hard to develop an internal locus of control. Thus, it is important to become mindful of what kind of people you regularly associate with and tailor your circle to fit the type of person that you want to become. The six point is get yourself a plant. This one is especially useful for those of us that are in circumstances where we feel that a lot of our control has been taken away from us or in cases of learned helplessness, for example, those of us with disabilities, elderly individual is in long term care homes, or even those of us experiencing the lack of control that comes with being confined to our homes during the lockdown due to the covid nineteen pandemic, and situations where it feels like most of our control has been lost, having control over one specific aspect of your life can make a significant difference. In one study, when elderly individuals were given the responsibility of taking care of the plants and their long term care home, they became more alert, active and healthier. Taking care of something that's easy, that's easily manageable, like a house plant, allows one to take back control over a particular aspect of their life in a way that sets them up for success. A House plant is a great choice because they require regular care, but not too much maintenance that it becomes unmanageable or overwhelming seven radically change the course of your day. Of all the tips, this one is by far my favorite. If you want to truly know how much influence you have over your own life, go out and do something that you don't normally do. One youtuber on his channel, always improving, said that he went out to the store one day, bought a bow and Arrow and spent one hour each day shooting watermelons in his backyard. He said that this experience showed him that he is in control of what he does on a daily basis and that he has the power to radically change his own life. You don't necessarily have to go out and buy a bow and Arrow and start shooting watermelons in your backyard, but choose something that interests you or that you've always been wanting to do. For example, for under two hundred dollars, you can rent a race car with a friend and spend the afternoon racing around a track. Or, if in a journal and rush isn't your thing, sign up for a class in something you've always wanted to get better in, like cooking, ballroom dancing or sewing. The point is, when you're constantly going through the motions of your everyday routine, you begin to forget that you actually have a say and how you spend your day. By making the choice and the time to do something you don't normally do, you begin to take back control of your life. Now I'll move on to my five tips to empower and motivate others. Number one, provide feedback and recognition. When someone feels empowered, they are more likely to be self motivated. However, having an internal locus of control is crucial for feeling empowered and self motivated, because if one has the belief that their efforts and actions won't make a difference to the outcome, they're much more likely not to try in the first place. Showing others that they're competent through feedback and recognition helps instill the...

...belief that their efforts were what cause that particular successful outcome, even if the outcome wasn't successful. Providing constructive feedback increases and individuals feeling of competence by giving them something tangible to improve on for the future. Second, complement their worth work ethic, not their smarts or luck or any external factor. This one is very common for parents, but it also applies to anyone else in a position of power superiority. Picture this. Your child comes home with a perfect score on their last math test and you say amazing work, Jimmy, you're so smart. You may think that you're providing positive feedback with this compliment, but you're actually fostering an external locus of control. In one study, a class of children were split into two groups. One group was given a puzzle to work on and after completion they were told that they got a perfect score and were complimented on their smarts. The second group was also given a puzzle to work on and after completion they were told that they also got a perfect score, but they received a compliment on their hard work, not their smarts. Then both groups were giving it were given an easy and hard set of puzzles to work on. The results showed that the kids that were told that they were smart spent less time trying to solve the puzzles in general and stuck to the easier puzzles rather than working on the hard puzzles. In the end, the researcher asked them if they enjoy themselves, and this group was more likely to say that it wasn't fun. The group that was told that they worked hard, spent a longer amount of time on the puzzles in general and spend more time on the harder puzzles. In the end, they were more likely to say that they had fun to the researcher. The takeaway from this experiment is that being complemented on smarts leads to lower motivation, because the child doesn't have control over how smart they are. Therefore, it they're more likely to feel defeated and give up when their face with a problem that's difficult for them to solve right off the HOB. However, the child does have control over how hard they work. So in a child's face with the difficult problem, all they have to do is put more effort and put more time into it. Instead of feeling defeated for not being able to solve the problem and giving up, the instead feel greater satisfaction knowing that their efforts cause them to solve the problem. Thus, complementing someone on their work ethic rather than traits or circumstances outside of their control, encourages shifting towards an internal locus of control, which ultimately results in greater motivation and satisfaction. The third tip is to set up an education program in in one thousand nine hundred and ninety eight study on the effects of an entrepreneurship program on need for achievement and locus of control of reinforcement results showed a statistically significant increase in achievement and internal locus of control as a result of completing and nine month entrepreneurship education program. Thus, these results indicate that implementing a program educating individuals about concept like need for achievement and locusts of control may actually be useful for fostering and internal locus of control and greater need for achievement and employees. The fourth one is foster community and connection. This one is also really simple. When people perceive a sense of relatedness or connection with others, they are happier and more motivated. Thus, for someone in a management position, it's important to make an effort to foster a positive community and connection amongst coworkers. These efforts will pay dividends, especially if paired with the culture that values responsibility, self, motivation and initiative. The last point is to prioritize striving for success rather than avoid failure. When individuals perceive choice, they perceive the space to become motivated so individuals feel more motivated...

...when striving for success or positive reinforcement, rather than avoiding failure or negative reinforcement. In the case of striving for success, individuals feel more in control because the sense that they have a choice in whether or not they want to receive this positive reinforcement. However, individuals feel that they have less control when it comes to avoiding failure and become less motivated. Additionally, if, within an organization, mistakes are heavily punish individuals are less likely to try something new or to take a risk in fearing and making a mistake. Therefore, it's important to focus on creating positive incentives rather than punishments within an organization, as well as fostering a culture where failures result in learning opportunities rather than punishment. So, to summarize this episode, we first discuss what is a locus of control and what is the difference between having an internal versus and external locusts. Next, we went over how having an internal locus of control is superior to an external one when it comes to job performance, stress management, leadership potential and overall happiness. Also, we touched on some of the reasons for an individual to adopt an external locusts as opposed to an internal one, namely the concept of learned helplessness and culture, as well as we went through some of the ways an individual can move from an external locus of control to more of an internal one. Lastly, we discuss some tips for how managers, leaders, teachers and parents can empower and motivate others through encouraging them to adopt an internal locusts of control, where we learned that an internal locust is the key to unlocking oneself motivation and feelings of empowerment and competency. Thanks, guys, for tuning in with me and until next time, be well.

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