By Dennis McIntee

Have you ever stopped to think about how many choices we all have to make on a day-to-day basis? From the time we wake up in the morning, we are all faced with endless options from what we will wear, to what we will eat, to how we will spend our hours, and who we will spend them with.

But when people are in drama, you’ll hear phrases like, “I have to,” or, “That’s what my boss said so I don’t have any choice.” And it’s simply not true. A victim mentality says I HAVE to do something. Reality says that we CHOOSE what we do.

A key belief for people stuck in a victim mentality is that there’s choice poverty. They’ve bought into the notion that there’s simply nothing they can do and that they are controlled by their circumstances and the people around them. That belief leaves people feeling powerless and acts as a constant fuel for drama. It’s also dangerously contagious. Victims are vocal, and when people spend too much time around them, it’s easy for them to develop a victim mindset too.

Fortunately for us, there is a solution to stop the drama in ourselves and in our teams, and all it takes is a mindset shift. We are all choice abundant. When you step back and really think about it, we truly can do anything. When we shift our perspectives from seeing the ins and outs of daily life as what we HAVE to do to what we CHOOSE to do, it makes all the difference.

Many times, we’re tempted to slip into a victim mindset and think, “There’s nothing I can do,” but it’s a total lie. There’s always something each of us can do. We just have to choose to do it. That lie hinders performance and prevents great outcomes. That’s why it’s so important that we combat it with the truth that we always have choices.

Great leaders make it a practice to ask “What can I do?” in the situations they find themselves in. Whether it’s a roadblock or a recent setback, instead of saying “That’s just how it is,” or thinking, “There’s nothing I can do,” we must all ask ourselves where we can exercise our power of choice.

There is always something you and I can do, and there’s a lot of power in that. Our teams reach their greatest potential on the other side of extreme ownership, and as leaders, we have the power to lead them there.

One of the best ways a leader can prevent drama and help their teams grow is by getting better at facilitating conversation. We put together our Coaching Questions Toolkit to help you do just that. You can get it free here.