DIS­COM­FORT CHANGES US

TO BE EF­FEC­TIVE AT WORK AND HOME WE NEED TO RE­MOVE BURIED EMO­TIONS FROM PAST HURT

Life & Style Weekend - - MIND - MIND YOU WORDS: NICK BENNETT Nick Bennett is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor and coach at mind­saligned.com.au

It is rare for some­one to get up in the morn­ing and say “I’m go­ing to be as in­ef­fec­tive as pos­si­ble to­day!”. Usu­ally peo­ple get up and go into work and life with the in­ten­tion of de­liv­er­ing on tasks, goals and roles as well as they can – de­spite chaos and crises that get in the way.

As we work with in­di­vid­ual, team or or­gan­i­sa­tion clients, we dis­cuss the con­cept of be­hav­iour that as­sists in be­ing ef­fec­tive and be­hav­iour that makes us or oth­ers in­ef­fec­tive.

We use a very sim­ple ex­er­cise to do this. We get clients to look at the be­hav­iours of oth­ers and how they re­spond to those be­hav­iours.

We put a line across the mid­dle of a page. Above the line we get them to put

be­hav­iours that worked and had them bring­ing their ef­fort.

Below the line they put be­hav­iours that had them with­draw ef­fort, caus­ing them to ac­tively or pas­sively re­sist the per­son dis­play­ing the be­hav­iour.

We talk about this as above or below the line be­hav­iour and we then fo­cus on how to stay above the line to be­come truly ef­fec­tive.

What is al­ways in­ter­est­ing to me is why peo­ple go below the line and be­have in a way that doesn’t work – even when they know it is in­ef­fec­tive.

We’ve found that below the line be­hav­iour is emo­tion­ally based and in many cases is based in a need to feel se­cure by con­trol­ling the event or ex­pe­ri­ence. You could de­scribe it as un­re­solved emo­tional is­sues prompt­ing an un­con­scious and neg­a­tive re­sponse – driven by a need to feel safe or se­cure – and there­fore based in insecurity.

When peo­ple are be­ing in­ef­fec­tive they will of­ten ra­tio­nalise and jus­tify the be­hav­iour, point­ing at an­other per­son as the cause.

But the gen­uine op­por­tu­nity is to ex­plore within and recog­nise the trig­gers that cre­ate the re­sponse.

It could be that the per­son lacked some­thing in early life and is now mak­ing up for it by ego-driven and pride-based be­hav­iour in the present – pro­mot­ing them­selves over oth­ers, telling oth­ers how good they are and, as an ex­treme, want­ing to con­trol ev­ery­thing.

Or a per­son may have been emo­tion­ally hurt, dam­aged or wounded and now acts out of fear to pro­tect them­selves in sit­u­a­tions that trigger past ex­pe­ri­ences. This can lead to un­con­sciously at­tribut­ing what is be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced now to what hap­pened back then. This can lead to peo­ple try­ing to min­imise the dam­age by with­draw­ing, avoid­ing or hid­ing from the sit­u­a­tion.

The thing is, un­til and un­less a per­son is pre­pared to in­ves­ti­gate the causes for their be­hav­iour and re­sponses, they are des­tined to con­tinue that cy­cle – and that’s in­ef­fec­tive.

The only thing any per­son has con­trol over in this world is them­selves – so any change has to come from within.

It’s un­com­fort­able. How­ever, on the edge of that dis­com­fort is where we learn.

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