Where is your choice?

August 7th, 2014 by Kelly Kienzle


Summer offers so many choices. We can choose to go outside or work from home; choose to wear sandals or flip-flops; or choose to stay out later or not. But is it only the season that gives us more choice? Why aren’t we at choice more often?

Victor Frankl would argue that we are always at choice. In his classic, “Man’s Search for Meaning”, he says that as long as we tap into our “inner freedom,” we are always at choice. Regardless of where we are at any moment, we can always make a choice.

But what does that really mean at work? When we are at work, that often feels the least choice-ful environment possible. We have deadlines, expectations, timelines and progress reports. Yet if Frankl could find ways to feel at choice while imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp for 3 years, certainly we can also.

Let’s try. What if you could discover ways in which you are at choice at work? Let’s use an example from your worklife:

1. Think of a situation in which you feel frustrated, blocked, or restricted in some way.

2. Consider where you have a choice. What elements do you have control over? How can you adjust the timing?Who else can you bring in to help?  Who can you ask for more independence? Where is there possibility for modification? Most importantly, if you truly want to succeed, what mindset would you need to have?  What would you have to believe is true?

3. Pick 2-3 ways where you have a choice in the project. Focus on these areas to leave your personal mark in some way.  Demonstrate your control over these few areas.

Choice makes us feel in control and powerful. Choice is an “inner freedom.” And each choice we make builds another piece of who we are and what is meaningful to us. It’s a simple tool, yet those are often the most powerful tools. Where can you find choice? Where can you create choice?


Open Circle Coaching offers a workshop for teams on how to re-frame situations to find more choice and thus foster more creativity and autonomy. Contact us if you’d like to learn more.

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