Spin the dial to change your mind

During a recent inspection tour of our new offices, I mentioned the air conditioner control panel.

The building manager laughed and said that they have software that can over-ride the thermostat.

So much for thinking that I had control over my environment. It made me re-think those research studies which found that the higher the level of perceived control, the higher the levels of job satisfaction, commitment and performance.

Obviously, the key word is ‘perceived’. Psychologists define perceived control as the belief that I am capable of influencing events in my life (and so enabling me to cope better with stress).

The fact that ‘they’ can so easily override my perceived control makes me suspicious. Where else is my perceived control being manipulated to squeeze even more commitment and performance out of me?

Obviously, it matters not how I spin the dial. Nothing will change . . . except in my head.