Control and Ownership

When we have an affect on the world around us we are responsible for that effect. The degree to which that the effect is the one we have intended is the degree to which we can be understood to be in control. If one is highly invested personally in what the outcome of a given situation will be, that person is understood to have a sense of ownership. If a person is highly invested in what the process will be for responding to the given situation, that person is understood to be demanding control.

We therefore have two related but different definitions for control. One has to do with the effectiveness of one's choices. The other has to do with the attachment one may have to a particular strategy. The irony is that when someone is not able to be effective with his or her choices but has a high degree of ownership of a given outcome he or she is likely to act in a way others see as controlling.

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