GOOD MORNING MONDAY – AFFIRMATIVE THOUGHTS FOR A GREAT WEEK
Good Morning! It is Monday – Hallelujah! You get to experience the greatest gift that you have ever been given – LIFE 😊 May you cherish today with both your head and your heart. Make the most of every minute; be kind to yourself; celebrate your strengths; and delight in your own uniqueness. I hope today and this week you find yourself surprised, humbled and honored at all the gifts that come your way. Before you start this day and this week, take a moment to pause, visualize and see the person that you want to be; and the person you want others to experience this week. Then, move forward with that intention. Give the very best of you today and this week. Live the kind of life that you imagine for yourself! 😊
“My perspective will create my perception” – (Neale Donald Walsch)
Remember, your perception is your model of how you see the world. It is colored by what you know, what you believe and what has happened to you in your life. You will see things in different ways than others. Different ways of seeing things are not right or wrong, they are just different perceptions. Your perceptions will impact how you respond to your colleagues, friends and your family.
Once your mind sees things one way, it can be difficult to see them another way. If the data you perceive is incomplete, your brain will fill in the gaps to enable you to make sense of what you see. Additionally, your mind may distort what you see to fit it into your current understanding. Have you ever been accused of putting 2 and 2 together and making 5? Have you ever been accused of jumping to the wrong conclusions?
In today’s fast-moving world, we seem to be under pressure to “act now” vs. spending time reasoning things through, thinking about the facts, and checking for understanding. This behavior can lead us to wrong conclusions, as well as experience conflict with others who may have drawn quite different conclusions from the same experience or seeing the same set of data. You might ask yourself, “Why do I do this? I am an intelligent person. Why do I engage in this behavior which can be counterproductive?”
One of the best explanations for this is provided by the Ladder of Inference which was first developed by Chris Argyris. The Ladder of Inference describes the thinking processes you go through, without realizing it. This process can take less than a second. Thus, you may not even realize how you developed a certain action or response. The ladder shows how mental models are formed unconsciously. These mental models determine what and how you see and how your thought process and behavior is led. You will give your own meaning to observations and base your actions on them. The ladder is illustrated below:
Starting at the bottom of the ladder is the world of “observable data”, then:
You select what you see based upon your beliefs and prior experience,
You interpret what the data means, you apply existing assumptions without considering them,
You draw conclusions and develop beliefs based upon these conclusions, and
You take actions that seem “right” because they are based upon what you believe.
Remember, this process happens extremely fast. Your beliefs have a large effect on how you select data from reality and can lead you to ignore true facts altogether. Then, you are “jumping to conclusions” by missing facts and skipping steps in the reasoning process. Being aware of the ladder of inference, you can learn to get back to the facts and use your beliefs and experiences to positive effect, rather than allow them to narrow your field of judgement.
The Ladder of Inference can be used in every stage of the thought process. You can train yourself to slow down and ask the following questions:
Am I drawing the right conclusions?
Why did I assume this?
Is my conclusion based upon the facts?
Why do I think this is the right thing to do?
Can I do this in a different way?
Did I check with others for understanding vs. make decisions or draw conclusions based upon my own assumptions?
It can also be helpful to identify the rung of the ladder you are currently on. It may be wise, at times, to go back to a lower step. Asking yourself what and why you are thinking at each step, can help you analyze what is going on. This may decrease the number of times you may be jumping to premature conclusions.
Remember, your perceptions are colored by your life experiences and beliefs. More than one perception is valid. It is important to understand why you are drawing your conclusions. It is also important to slow down and check for understanding (understanding yourself and understanding others).
The Ladder of Inference is a model of the steps you take to make sense of situations so that you can act. It helps you to “think about your thinking” and to “coordinate your thinking with others” This week, slow down, think about your thinking and check for understanding with others for the best possible outcomes 😊.
Have a GREAT week. Take Care.