American educator, businessman and author Stephen Richards Covey, most known by his bestseller ”The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, categorized proactive people as those who has the ability to focus on what they have control over and what they can influence, while reactive people focus on what they can´t control adopting a victim approach.

Covey’s concept spheres of concern, control and influence were mentioned back in 1989 in his book ”The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, where he states that focusing on what we can control, will have a positive effect expanding our sphere of influence, which also provide us the possibility to have an indirect impact of control.

Once we understand how to deal with what we can influence, can control and simply can´t, this fantastic approach gives us the power to canalize our energy, focus on significant efficiency and wellbeing reducing unnecessary stress.

The method is very simple to use by determining:

The sphere of concern which is all the things in our life that we might have limited or no control at all as for example the past or other people´s perspective.

The sphere of influence is all those things or situations that we might be able to impact as providing an inspiring speech or being a good role model.
The sphere of influence expands over time as for example by building and nurturing strong relationships for mutual cooperation and contribution.

The sphere of control is everything else we have the power to decide to do such as to change our point of view, or create new healthy routines.

As you can see the concept is straight forward and easy to use with a fantastic outcome: we become better focusing in where our power of influence and control lays, while accepting our current situation as it is and letting go what we can´t control.

Below three coaching questions to help you reflect on your current situation and start applying this effective method:

  1. Which sphere is taking most of your time and energy?
  2. Which sphere needs your focus now?
  3. What could you do to boost you sphere of influence?