In the first of a new series of mini-article tips for The Coaching Room, I thought I would write something for the community that has been a practice for almost 20 years.
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
Viktor E. Frankl
In any given situation there is a choice of how we respond, but in order to respond in an optimal way, we may need to ‘move the mind back’ one step.
This is a meta process in the rawest sense: the step of the mind from being embedded in the object e.g. a thought/feeling/sensation, and into the position of the subject that ‘has’ that emotion instead of being embedded within it i.e. being ‘had by it’.
This move can be facilitated through the following method that I leaned on silent retreat with writer and teacher Joseph Goldstein.
When a situations arises, become curious at the moment in which you usually would respond.
And then say: ‘That’s interesting’ (an ‘orange response’ of curiosity)
This forces you outside of the ‘game dynamic’ of habituated perception and response mechanism that drives us (with NLP being very handy at deconstructing the processes in between the process itself).
‘That’s interesting’ is a pause for no thought.
‘That’s interesting’ moves your mind back, and frees you to choose your response.
‘That’s interesting’ is a practice of no action (at least not straight away)
‘That’s interesting’ will facilitate your mind being more meta.
Remember it, try it, and let us know in the community how you get on.