The Observer - - WEEKEND - Rowena Hardy is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor, per­for­mance coach and part­ner of Minds Aligned: mind­saligned.com.au MIND YOU WORDS: ROWENA HARDY

Part of some stud­ies that Nick and I were un­der­tak­ing a few years ago in­cluded iden­ti­fy­ing an­other per­son’s strate­gies. We all use strate­gies or plans of ac­tion in our life at times to help us achieve a goal, yet we are of­ten un­aware of them as they sit in our sub­con­scious. The one we were ex­plor­ing at the time was in re­la­tion to shop­ping. This was in­ter­est­ing on many lev­els as it is Nick that seems to have the shop­ping chip in our fam­ily which is not nec­es­sar­ily typ­i­cal. His strat­egy at the time was iden­ti­fied as “See it, want it, buy it”; very sim­ple, spur of the mo­ment and spon­ta­neous. Mine, on the other hand, was “See it, like it, do I need it, walk away, how much will I use it, is it good value, what are other shops of­fer­ing, how do the prices and de­sir­abil­ity com­pare, make de­ci­sion”. Very dif­fer­ent ... and clearly mine took a lot longer. The pur­pose of the ex­er­cise was to be able to change the strat­egy if it was un­help­ful and, as you might imag­ine, nei­ther of us found our strate­gies un­help­ful as they worked per­fectly well for us, how­ever Nick’s didn’t al­ways work well for our bud­get. Over time he adapted his strat­egy to “See, want it, walk away, con­sider it, buy it … maybe” which was a vast im­prove­ment as far as our bud­get and I were con­cerned. It has fur­ther de­vel­oped since then and he has be­come a lit­tle stealth­ier about how he goes about buy­ing these days. This is par­tic­u­larly true if it’s a ma­jor pur­chase (which we’re con­sid­er­ing at the mo­ment) as he recog­nises he needs to in­flu­ence and con­vince me of all the ad­van­tages and cost ben­e­fits well in ad­vance in or­der to get me to agree. He can spend months re­search­ing and com­par­ing, drop­ping the oc­ca­sional com­ment or find­ing rea­sons that some­thing might need to be re­placed to im­prove ef­fi­ciency, run­ning costs etc with the in­tent of weav­ing a plau­si­ble case. Be­cause this strat­egy is a lit­tle closer to mine I ob­vi­ously pre­ferred it and it worked well to be­gin with, how­ever I grad­u­ally started to see through this amended ap­proach and I pick up on it much ear­lier these days. For­tu­nately, it now works OK for both of us and our bud­get most of the time and we nor­mally have a good laugh about it, par­tic­u­larly when he uses my own ap­proach back to me. Are you aware of your own buy­ing strat­egy? How well does it work for you?

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