Events, dear boy…

Personal productivity, Reflect No Comments

Stuff happens…Events occur…Frustration and confusion arise…

How we make sense of what goes on around us and to us is key, for it guides our actions.

When thinking about events there are two tools we find useful. 

The Deep Think.

The aim is to take an event, such as someone not arriving for a meeting, or set of events that has formed a pattern (such as regular delays in starting team meetings), and to try to think of as many possible reasons for the other persons actions. The aim is to generate a long list of possible hypotheses before deciding on action. As well as considering bleak and competitive reasons (they don’t like me, they got a better offer), there is the chance to think of more charitable ones (something has happened at home, their diary isn’t working properly). Only when your brainstorm has run dry do you try to think about which are the most convincing possibilities (if any!) and what your next step might be…your list of options will be much longer.

The formula: E+R=O (where Events + Response = Outcome).

When something happens our response to it is key.  Having been left at the café or bar for an hour with no message we will be responding: 

in our head (am I in the right place, did I put the right time in my diary);

in our heart (what are they thinking of, hope they are ok); 

with our hands (texting, tweeting, fiddling).

The power of this formula is to focus not on R, but O.  Bear in mind the outcome you want (a relaxing evening, a continued relationship with the other person) and use that to guide your response (make the most of time to sit and think, meditate, people watch, plan your next day).

See here for a bit more.

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