What’s your state of mind right now? Do you think about that to adjust it to the most helpful mind-set or does it just happen to you?
There are obviously different people in the world and to make my life simpler, or at least simpler to explain, I divided them in to two categories.
One is the person who let the world outside of them affect them and how they feel and act. They are in Effect, effected by the surroundings which is to blame for how they feel right now. If others are happy I’m happy too, for example.
The other is a person who controls their own state of mind and decide how they want to feel and act. They are in Cause. They make things happen and take responsibility for what the world around them should be like. Being in Cause is a better fit for a leader.
What mind-set do they have?
First let me say that the whole concept is built on the idea that you can choose how you feel. “You make me so upset” in this concept it’s not technically correct, but you could say “What you did made me choose to be upset”. You can decide how you do want to feel and not everyone would feel the same as you for every given situation, it’s an individual choice.
There are no models that are perfectly correct but some are useful. This is a model that isn’t easy to accept for everyone and I understand that, however if you want to be in Cause, I find this to be a useful model.
What does that mind-set scale look like?
There are many ways to explain it and I have chosen to explain the two ends of the scale. The state you are in, especially if you lead others, affects them and might be the difference that makes the difference in achieving the targeted outcome in your communication.
In this state, you have a tunnel vision, you don’t notice much outside of yourself. Typically, during communications, you will wait for the other person to stop talking so you can say what you know is right. You don’t hear what the person is saying, you wait for them to stop talking. A person in Crash can be perceived to be threatening or aggressive. This is a very effective state if your life is threatened, like during a fire, an active shooter etc. it is however not very effective while communicating, it’s worthless for that type of activity.
In this state, you have a wide peripheral vision. You can see the other person’s body language. You can notice what they say and how they say it. You have a statement in your mind “I don’t know, but I’m eager to find out”. Communicating with a person in Coach state is easy and not threatening. The person in Coach state seems to be very interested and present. Very effective for communication, coaching and cooperation of any kind.
A couple who lives together meets after a working day, one of them wants to talk about the day, what happened, problems and how that felt etc. The other person, who has heard this before (at least, think so) crashes and starts to give advice about what to do to solve these problems. The first person says “You never listen to me” the other person replies “What do you mean I’m even giving you advice what to do”…the first person didn’t want advice but just wanted to talk, to vent and feel that somebody listened. A very stressful situation for both and not very helpful for a nice evening with the one you love.
I often ask people to try this: Next time you meet, maybe tonight, try to make sure you are in coach state. Make sure you have a peripheral vision, breath out longer than yo breath in and pay attention to the other person. Feel your feet to the floor and notice your breathing. Listen to the words, notice the facial expressions, notice the body language and keep the “I don’t know” thought in your mind. Ask to understand more. People who try this always come back and say “Last night was the best night I had in a very long time” they talk and connect and have meaningful time together. I even had people crying while giving me the feedback, it’s very powerful and learning how to master yourself in this area opens so much possibilities and gives you a much richer life with good interactions.
Choosing your state means that you can choose to be happy for no reason at all just because you want to. There’s no need to connect your happiness with an object, a person or a circumstance. You can be happy just like that, because you choose to. Try it, smile to the world and notice the reaction you get and how good it feels.
As a leader in change you need to learn how to lead yourself, before you lead others. Self-mastery is a long journey but worth taking.
Please let me know if you recognize this and find it helpful to learn more about this basic leadership skill, write to me at:
Johan Majlov, CEO Lean Dimensions International