I wonder how often we give any thought to the consequences of our actions…especially before we choose to take them! It is something we are encouraged to learn as we grow up…because quite often, as children, we act first and think later!
As I mentioned last week, I am a planner by nature…therefore I think ahead as best I can, crossing every potential bridge before I come to it and anticipating what the consequence may be if I do this instead of that!
Of course, in reality, we do not always have the luxury of thinking ahead and even if we do, we cannot account for the responses of others…all we can do is anticipate how we would respond in any given scenario!
So when I find myself in a situation where I am dealing with the less than helpful consequences of either my own actions or those of someone else, I like to pause and consider the original intention.
One of the presuppositions in NLP philosophy guides us to believe that ‘Every behaviour has a positive intention‘…so even when things may not go according to plan (well, may actually just go wrong!!), it can be really useful to step back and consider the positive intention that was buried in there somewhere.
Of course, I would add the rider that the positive intention that is buried somewhere in every behaviour may not work positively for both parties involved…hence being mindful of the consequences of our actions and those of other people!
I’m making this sound like I have done something terrible – not at all.
On the contrary, having just finished another awesome conference and spent 3 days with over 400 people, I am mindful of the many and varied behaviours we encounter on a daily basis and the consequences we are all managing as a result.
So I offer this philosophical NLP nugget as a potentially useful perspective to try on when considering everyday interactions with your fellow beings on this great planet we call home…