The most powerful realization has come to me these last handful of years. Something I knew, but now I really know. Here it is in two parts: Part A: I have the choice to think any way I want – about leadership, about life, about things and about myself. Part B: When I think differently, I feel differently and I act differently – and have a different impact on myself, my company and everyone else I connect with. This is not a new insight for me. But it is now a deeper- held belief. It is becoming a habit. It is becoming a higher and higher level skill – a skill I engage more and more often, particularly as a coach.
Why am I so enthused about using this power of re-thinking? Well, why would I not want to feel more confident instead of less confident? Why not become more optimistic and less cynical? Why not take responsibility instead of blaming others? Why not become more focused and less scattered? Why not listen deeply instead of interrupting or letting my mind drift? These are better ways to live. More effective. I’ll get better results in my life and in my work.
What I have also discovered is that I am not the only one who has a pattern of thinking that needs re-thinking. A lot of us do. David Burns[i] put together a list of common “cognitive distortions”. Some of these distortions:
The coaching process helps people reframe one’s or one’s clients perspective(s) – what Chris Argyris[ii] called “Double-Loop” thinking – thinking outside the box.
To work this process, ask yourself or your client:
Simple and powerful. Re-thinking. – a way to think differently and more powerfully to become the person, to become the leader, we want to be. Think – Feel – Act – Impact.
[i] Currently Adjunct Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine