Maybe it’s time to have a “do-over.”
Have you found yourself repeating or recreating the same negative, uncomfortable situations? Is your gut telling you that it’s time to pause and learn how you appear and act towards others? Do you ever wonder what your behavior contributes to the situation? What if you could receive your feedback in a clear, understandable, and relatable way that facilitates your ability to act and make the desired changes?
There are ways to go from being caught in a “behavior rut” to “unstuck.” Sometimes what we need is what we used to call in Queens, New York, a “do-over.” (Refer to page 67 in my book!)
When I was a little kid growing up in Jamaica, Queens, I would sit on my front stoop (aka front steps) and observe the older neighborhood boys playing stickball or punchball on our street.
Sometimes their athletic efforts wouldn’t go as planned. A car would interrupt their turn at bat, or a ball would go flying over a fence or through a window (it happens). The player in question would ask for a “do-over.” They would make their case regarding what, how, and why they wanted to improve their swing or throw. In these situations, the factors that contributed to the player’s poor performance were visible and witnessed by every player. The player’s request would be debated, negotiated, and usually allowed with clearly outlined instructions “Come on already. Quit talking and show us what you’ve got!”
If only we could approach our adult behaviors with that same matter-of-fact approach. Getting a clear, unbiased view of ourselves and seeing how we “show up” to others at work or home is a challenge. We are the star player in our narratives. So, we create myths like “I am consistently Buddha-like when I encounter a stressful challenge” or “I can flourish in any human environment.” These may sound impressive, but they’re rarely the real truth.
Having the ability to view ourselves and others’ behaviors without judgment and bias is key to developing awareness and is the first step in facilitating change. Thankfully, like those stickball players in Queens, adjusting our behaviors is possible with the right tools and support. Fortunately for us, in the last few years, experts have presented more research about neural behavior, intelligence, and the human capacity to change.
However, while this research has built our awareness of the human brain’s ability to change, converting that knowledge into a practical methodology matters in a coaching setting. In my practice, I use applied, narrative storytelling to coach and deliver professional development workshops that facilitate self-awareness and behavior change. When my client uses applied storytelling, they learn how to view and explain events in a descriptive, sensory-rich manner. The story becomes more revealing and personally enlightening than when they use typical Situation-Action-Result (SAR) focused dialogue.
The story-sharing process engages the listener and is informative and transformative. However, as powerful as the method is, the exchange of information is not without bias. The teller and the listener both bring their “stuff” to the conversation. As a result, I had been seeking a tool that would complement my use of applied narratives in my practice.
It’s for those reasons, that I began to utilize AccuMatch Behavior Intelligence Assessments. It is a neural mapping platform that maps leadership categories and their interlocking relationships. It exposes unconscious habits and the dynamics, triggers, and responses that lie hidden in the unconscious and limit performance, engagement, and results. The high degree of specificity and accuracy gives clarity and focus to the behaviors which undermine communication and harmony. The tool accomplishes this through its use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Psychology, and Neural Science.
As a result, the Map allows my clients and me to address “how” behaviors show up in their lives and discuss their impact without judgment and bias. The tool provides a neutral, objective way to provide and receive feedback. The client can use this feedback framework to identify, select and prioritize focus areas such as stress management, decision making, and navigating change. Then, as we move forward, I can use the Map to track the client’s behavioral progress so that can be matched up to functional results and sustained behavior shifts.
This assessment has been of great benefit because it complements my use of dialogue by providing me with a clear, framework that allows me to facilitate collaborative discussion that leads to greater client accountability and change.
So, like those players on my old Queens Street, taking action and sustaining change can happen. The result is that clients can move from being jammed to hitting communication home runs.
So like the saying goes. “It’s time to play ball!”
Julienne B. Ryan is a certified AccuMatch BI coach and the author of “The Learned-It-In-Queens Communications Playbook — Winning Against Digital Distraction” and an applied, narrative storyteller, speaker, trainer, and coach. She is on a mission to improve how we communicate with each other, one authentic conversation at a time. Click on this link to learn about her services.