Control, Influence, No Control

Over which challenges in your role do you consider you have control, influence, or no control at all? Brainstorm to develop a common understanding inside your group, search for solutions


This activity helps participants become aware of what lies in their power and what doesn’t. This way they can start focusing on what can actually impact their performance in a positive way. Thus, they can manage their energy in a more effective manner. Also, they discover that sometimes, challenges may only seem outside their control area. Their teammates may see things in a different light and thus they can provide a new approach. Participants have the chance to gain more clarity on the matter. Also, they start building a common perspective and a more positive mindset.



  • Introduce the activity to the participants.
  • Split them into teams.
  • Encourage the teams to nominate a team coordinator. They will facilitate the discussion in the breakout room. In the end, they will present the outcome to the other teams. The team coordinators can rely on the ideas written within the predefined template.
  • Join each team and provide the activity link.


  • Participants choose a certain context to run this analysis.
  • They start by listing all the challenges they can think of. Then they write them down on the sticky notes already prepared for this activity. It could be a silent brainstorming or a normal one, the idea here is to list as many challenges as they can recall.
  • Then they discuss and agree upon the cluster in which they should move each sticky note with a challenge on it. There are three clusters: control, influence, and no control. Stephan Covey was the one to define them like this in his theory.

Debrief (suggested)

  • The team coordinator from each team will present the outcome to the other teams.
  • The facilitator may ask the following questions:
    • How difficult was it for you to assign each challenge to a certain cluster?
    • Were there any disagreements within the team? How did you overcome them?
    • Did you notice a certain challenge to be labelled differently among the teams? How do you explain this?
    • Was there anything that surprised you in any way?



Additional info

This activity follows activity type guide from CARTA

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