The TV remote control is one of the most coveted items in many households.
Ours (more unusually perhaps) is a house of multiple remotes and watching TV has now become so complicated, I have actually pretty much given it up!
In essence however, the remote is supposed to make life easier. Just press the button to select a TV channel or a DVD option and “voila” instant response!
Our emotional lives are a lot like TV controls. Press the right buttons and instantaneous responses are guaranteed!
The question is: who has your remote?
Do you have it? do you decide on the volume, channel, visual options, record facility, re-wind, pause?
Or do you freely give the controls with open handed generosity to others?
Do you leave the controls lying around so that anyone can just pick them up to “see what’s on”?
What happens when someone else has our remote?
At a basic level we give others the control of our emotions and our emotional responses.
How do we know when this has happened?
We find ourselves saying things like “he/she made me feel angry/frustrated/jealous/uncomfortable; a tacit reminder that someone else is pressing our buttons, someone else is deciding our options.
One of the greatest leadership challenges for us all is to take ownership of our own remote control and learn how to use it wisely.