Do you always respond the same way when you have to deal with a problem?
Strategic Coaching transforms your limits into resources and reveals how repeating certain responses (also called redundant attempted solution) may be limiting you without you realizing it.
This solution has helped you for so long, and you’ve tried it so many times, that your mind puts it first, in other words it gives you the same answers and almost always in the same way.
My training in the Strategic Coaching field comes from Roberta Milanese.
We could say that there’s a script, probably an unconscious one, that makes you behave in a certain way, and not in others.
A script that can sometimes be useful, but which can become dysfunctional if you apply it indiscriminately.
The “use what you already know” script
This script can be very useful.
When facing new or unfamiliar situations, your mind seeks information from previous experiences, the information you collected from past experiences and feelings.
With all this information, when facing a problem, you respond using familiar answers already familiar that were successful at some point in your life.
The positive side of this behavior is that it gives you security and is based on past experience.
The negative side is that it doesn’t allow you to use alternative solutions, thus, the script instead of helping, limits you.
The “avoiding what creates emotional distress” script
This seems quite logical, but,
What happens when you want to change things that you don’t like, but in order to do so, you need to go through certain “emotional distress” ?
The positive side of this script is that it can save you from some discomforts.
The negative side is that you can get hooked on things, situations or people you don’t like, because without realizing it, you avoid any emotional distress.
Strategic Coaching focuses your attention on developing your talents and potential, preventing these scripts from becoming too stiff.
By this I mean that there are situations where you have to base yourself on what you already know or in which is better to avoid what leads to discomfort.
But in this case it’s you who has to make this decision, not your script.
To discover your script you can ask yourself some questions:
- What do you want to do whenever you feel … “x”?
- How do you usually deal with a certain type of problem?
- How do you solve the difficulties in your relationships or communication with others?
Redundant Attempted Solution (RAS):
The RAS is that response you usually always use when you feel X, think Y or try to solve a certain type of problems.
First Level of Analysis
This response can be:
- Selected: This means that you are aware of your response, your script, and you choose that answer after rationally thinking what is most appropriate for the situation. You could also not know a different answer, and choose to what you know.
- Suffered: This when you could answer differently, but can’t avoid having the same reaction. You are aware that you would like to change that behavior, but won’t, because there is “something” that “forces” you to deal with the situation in the same particular way. This “something” could be a belief, an emotion, a value, a connection, etc. your script controls you because you can’t do anything to stop it.
- Spontaneous: in this case, you respond unconsciously and only after responding, do you realize that it may not have been the best way. The script activated automatically activated and you weren’t even aware of it.
To give you a simple example so you can see what I mean, imagine the following situation:
You’re angry with your coworker. You could respond in 3 ways:
- Choose to talk and clear things out, but the talk worsens the situation. (Elected)
- You know you could talk to her and settle your differences, but you can’t help avoiding it. (Suffered)
- Without realizing it, you yell at your coworker and then regret it (spontaneous)
Of course, in all these attempted solutions, we must seek “exceptions“, that means moments or situations in which the script worked and you were able to cope successfully.
For example, imagine if talking resolved the situation positively.
Second level of analysis
Having analyzed the type of RAS, let’s now examine the areas where Redundant Attempted Solutions are expressed:
- Strategic dimension: when facing a problem, you employ certain actions and tactics that should solve the problem, and yet they don’t. The strategy is wrong, but you insist on “more of the same”
- Communication Dimension: this happens when, facing a certain problem, you know what you have to do, you know that if you do it you’ll succeed, but by expressing it (gestures, verbal and nonverbal communication, etc.), you fail to solve the problem. The strategy is correct, in this case what fails is communication.
- Relationship dimension: in this case you know how to solve your problem, you know how to communicate it, but at the moment of truth, you can’t do because there’s an emotional or relational blockage that prevents you from accomplishing it.
I’ll give you a simple example so you can understand how it works:
- You propose a meeting to explain the new project (strategy). In this case, you could’ve already tried this strategy in another project and it didn’t work, and now you’re repeating it again in a different project.
- At the meeting you get nervous and can’t express the benefits of this new strategy. Your colleagues leave the meeting without understanding anything. (communication)
- You’ve been thinking that you’d like to change how you do things, but never find the right time to propose it, because you’re afraid your relationship with your coworkers may become tense (relationship)
One of the things that Strategic Coaching does is to look for exceptions, in other words, those situations where applying your script had the desired result.
I’ll leave you for now, because you have already known enough to start looking into your redundant patterns of behavior or RAS.
These aren’t always easy to see, especially the spontaneous ones. So you may need a little time to think about this.
Once you have a clear idea of your Attempted Redundant Solution, discuss them in the comments if you wish.