Informed Choices for More Useful Behaviour

Have you ever felt an internal conflict where part of you knew something was the right thing to do and another part of you felt compelled in some way to do something else. Jan Sky related the following story to me, which clearly shows an example of when parts can come into conflict and what can happen as a result…..

“It was a beautiful Sydney spring Sunday, the sun shining, a light breeze blowing and my mind was filled with thoughts of the beach, outdoors and fun times.

I made my way to a local park right on the water front. It was glorious, lots of people about, children played in the sand on along the water’s edge and the occasional dog appeared to give mine something to glare at!

Feeling so good and absorbing the sunshine and smells of spring I sat under a tree and read.

Glancing up I noticed a beautiful Doberman prancing around in the sand and running carelessly through the water playing with an equally young and handsome Bull Terrier. My passion is for dogs and babies and I adore watching their behaviour and interactions with their ‘owners’.

These dogs presented a spectacular sight, their fine lean bodies running, playing and dancing in the sunlight. I had noticed the Doberman earlier walking the opposite direction on a lead with his owner and now he was off the lead and certainly enjoying exchanges with the Bull Terrier. His owner was desperately trying to retrieve him, calling his name to return to the lead, but the dogs pleasure took his attention away from the owner’s commands.

Finally after the Bull Terrier was taken into control by his owner, the Doberman returned to his to be put back on his lead. It became apparent that everyone had been watching with wonderment at this spectacular sight for when the owner punished him by hitting and kicking the dog, everyone gasped and made sounds of disapproval and bewilderment. “Oh, no he hit him again”; “Can you believe he kicked him?” In an instant the atmosphere was transformed from that of pleasure to that of dismay and disbelief.

This scene is not uncommon in everyday life quite frankly, when we take our own feelings of embarrassment, resentment or annoyance out on others. Rather than acknowledging how we feel and addressing our own feelings appropriately, we tend to externalise them and exhibit unreasonable, irrational behaviour at another’s expense. Owning our own feelings allows us to connect more appropriately with others and ultimately leads to improved relationships.

Going back to my story of the man with his Doberman, and reflecting on parts (or states), that make up who we are, only part of him was annoyed, embarrassed and felt resentment. There were other parts of him that loved his dog and enjoyed walking along the water in the sunshine.

Our behaviour is driven from the state we choose to be in at any given time, ie that state that is in charge. An awareness that we are made up of multiple parts gives us opportunities to change behaviour in an instant. The dog owner chose to put into executive (or boss role) the state of ‘annoyance’ and it was from this annoyed state that everyone observed his behaviour. Should he have chosen to put into executive the state of ‘love for his dog’ I am sure his behaviour would have been quite different.”

Awareness is the key to knowing who we are and giving preference to those parts in us that display best behaviour for the situation. At work, play or when socialising our behaviour is governed by our choices. Every choice has a consequence and awareness gives us the ability to choose appropriately for situations as well as embracing our best attributes.

ESI (Executive State Identification) is a process that allows you to discover your very own set of states, states that are exclusive to you and from which your behaviour is displayed. ESI is a powerful coaching process that identifies inhibiting parts which may be preventing you from achieving the levels of success and happiness you deserve. From identification comes awareness and from awareness comes choices for more appropriate or useful behaviour.”

Jan Sky has developed ESI after 30 years of experience as a corporate trainer, clinical Hypnotherapist and Coach. Jan recognised trends that were holding people back from achieving their full potential. From her extensive studies, most recently from ego state therapy, Jan developed the ESI coaching process that moves change quickly and easily.

To book your coaching session or to find out how you can find out more about ESI and its applications in organisations contact Liz or Jan on 1300 766 092.

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