Premature Evaluation

If you really want to make a difference, if you want to leave the world in a better place for you and your next generations and others by making decisions … read on

What we do know is that in order to enjoy more success in life and in changing times, it’s important that each of us is able to create the change that we need within. But sometimes, we allow a situation or perception to simply gets the better of us and thus remain undecided “wait and see”.

Despite our best efforts and intentions, and in spite of considering every avenue available to us, we seemingly find ourselves no further forward. Frustrated, fatigued and at a loss about how to proceed, we might reluctantly conclude there is nothing more that can be done and that that is simply how the world is.

Why do we find ourselves getting stuck when trying to bring about positive change into other parts of our lives? What stops us making a very logical and important decision which will positively impact our lives, what is holding us captive?

It starts with discovering your own purpose and your own ‘why’, and deliberately making your purpose and your ‘why’ that much larger than the perceived obstacles you have placed in your way already. Available to you are tried and tested tools, apps, meditations, coaches and mentors …. all you have to do is to be ready to want to change, to want to be successful to want to make a difference to society, your family and your next and next generations. First establish your purpose and your ‘why’ then the rest will follow allowing you to become unstuck in taking meaningful steps forward once again. Be consciously mindful.

Sure problems and indecision can get the better of us, despite our best attempts to solve them. But, ironically sometimes it is our continued attempts to solve a problem that actually keeps us stuck in them.

So why is it that intelligent, successful, and high performing people find themselves wrestling with such problems? Well, whilst human beings are naturally brilliant problem solvers, we are inherently limited in our thinking about the challenges that we face. This is nothing new. Decades of research have highlighted our biased thinking patterns and all too human frailties.

But we’re also inherently limited by our language and our communication. We make sense of our world, and the problems we face by labelling them. As a result, we often suffer from a case of “premature evaluation”.

Once we have labelled a problem as a ‘thing’, the ‘language game’ that we play when talking about the situation becomes “sticky”. Our words shape our own and others’ perceptions, limit perceived opportunities for change, and often embed the problem further.

Unwittingly we craft narratives and stories that lead us to simplistically frame our view of the problems that we face.

Unfortunately for us, it is these frames that hold our thinking captive and lead us towards the pig pen with our sleeves rolled up. In the pen, we find ourselves wrestling with what might seem like meaningful problems, but are in reality just poorly defined and ill-conceived thoughts and self talk.

Psychologists have learnt that when one of their client’s find themselves Pig Wrestling, they only know one thing and know it with absolute certainty: there clients are tackling the wrong problem.

Ultimately, people end up solving the wrong problem because the problem is covered in the following:

  • Assumptions
  • Biases
  • Story telling
  • Emotion
  • Judgments

All of these factors contribute to creating the frame by which we view the problem. When we get stuck we know we are looking through the wrong frame and need to become aware that it’s time to try and get a different perspective on the situation we are facing or remain ‘stuck’.

To avoid Pig Wrestling, psychologists designed a series of thought experiments that help ‘clean’ a problem of the assumptions, stories, and judgment that ensures you feel ‘stuck’ within your situation. Once we identify and lift our assumptions, then and only then we can find new frames by which to view the situation and therefore create new and more effective solutions. The Pig Wrestling coaching framework explores the following areas:

  • Exploring what our previous attempted solutions tell us about the assumptions we have made
  • Focusing on how we know the problem would no longer be present, rather than obsessing about how to solve it
  • Finding times when the problem is not a problem, and identifying what is special about those times
  • Establishing what the constraints are that are holding the problem stuck, rather than trying to find what has caused the problem

By exploring these areas in relation to your problem, it enables you to clean your thinking of biases, re-frames your problem and finds more meaningful solutions when you or your colleagues feel immersed and truly stuck in the pig pen!

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