Thinking it Through

Thoughts Feelings Behaviour and Results are all connected

Our thoughts, feelings, behaviour, and results are all connected. Every result we get comes from the “story we tell ourselves,” which means we can often change our outcomes by changing our thinking.

Here’s an example:

Issue: The Purchasing Manager is not doing their job well.  They’ve missed deadlines and made errors.  They take long lunch breaks and are often in other people’s offices talking about things that don’t seem work-related.  

ThoughtsOur Purchasing Manager is not doing their job well because they are lazy.  I can’t stand it when people are lazy.
FeelingsIrritated.  Frustrated.
BehaviourMake passive-aggressive comments to the Purchasing Manager and complain to others in hopes that the message will get to the Purchasing Manager and they will change their behaviour. 
ResultsThe Purchasing Manager makes more mistakes.  Your frustration builds.  The Purchasing Manager is eventually fired. 

Alternative Way of Thinking

ThoughtsOur Purchasing Manager isn’t doing their job well.  I’m certain they’re capable, there must be something going on.  I should find out. 
FeelingsCuriosity.  Concern.  Caring. 
BehaviourTalk to the Purchasing Manager to determine what is going on and why they aren’t performing to the expected results.  Find out that the expectations are unclear and the Purchasing Manager is unsure how to prioritize but avoided talking to you because you seemed frustrated, irritated, and like they would get in trouble.   The Purchasing Manager was overwhelmed and felt unmotivated. 
ResultsDiscuss expectations and plans to remove some of the barriers to success.  Create goals and plan to meet weekly to discuss progress.  As a result, the Purchasing Manager’s motivation and quality of work increase, and they start taking on more responsibility.

When getting undesired results, consider the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours contributing to those results. You may be able to achieve a better outcome by thinking it through and making different choices about what you believe to be true.

Think of a person with whom you are experiencing challenges. Ask yourself:

  1. What is the issue?
  2. What are my thoughts, feelings, behaviour, and results?
  3. What might the other person be thinking and feeling about the same situation?
  4. How could I reframe this? Is there an opportunity to have greater empathy? What can I be curious about? What results might I get?

Understanding and choosing different thoughts, feelings, and behaviours isn’t always easy. Discussing your situation with a coach can help you identify the outcomes you want to achieve, identify different ways of thinking, and create plans to make meaningful change.

May 4, 2022

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