Well… yes and no. I am sure you have been bombarded by a deluge of news on COVID-19 in recent weeks, whether through official channels, social media, or friends and relatives. Some are important to know, some are fake news, while others strike fear or are downright depressing.  It is no mean feat to get everyone focused on work and do what they need to do on a daily basis amidst the onslaught of mostly negative news every day. This brings to my mind the concept of Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence by Stephen Covey.

In his book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talked about the Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence.

The Circle of Concern consists of a whole range of things – global warming, the state of the economy, attitude in society etc.. They are things we are concerned about but we have little or no control over as they are outside your influence.

The Circle of Influence are the things that concern you that you can do something about.

Personally, I would like to add the Circle of Control within the Circle of Influence as ultimately, we all have the Power of Choice.

Much of what is happening with the COVID-19 situation sits in our Circle of Concern. But we as individuals can do so much within our Circle of Influence:

  • Be socially responsible – this doesn’t need any elaboration.
  • Be mindful of what you share via social media – there are many fake news circulating around in the form of videos and links to articles. When I receive them, I often wonder what is the motive of the person sending it or putting it on the group chat? To strike fear? To create confusion? Or simply to create entertainment or mindless engagement? My auto response is simply to ignore or delete.
  • Spread calm, not fear.
  • Have a laser-sharp focus at work. Whether you are working from home, on staggered hours, or any other form of alternative work arrangement, do not let your productivity drop. Support and encourage your fellow colleagues, and don’t stop loving your customers (and in Salt’s definition our customers are both our Clients and Candidates). In fact, make full use of these challenging times to show your customers, colleagues, and employer that you stand in solidarity with them. Instead of stressing yourself out over the economy which sits outside your Circle of Influence, focus on what you can do within in. As what Warren Buffett said, “Games are won by players who focus on the playing field – not by those whose eyes are glued to the scoreboard”. To emerge stronger during such turbulent times requires not just strong resilience but also a laser-sharp focus. As long as we focus on the playing field, the scoreboard will take care of itself.

If you have any other ideas that we can do within our Circle of Influence amidst this COVID-19 situation, please do share!