P.R.I.D.E: an acronym for success.

I love a clever acronym. Truth be told I've wasted hours trying to squeeze my research and ideas into one memorable form or another in the hope that it makes it more appealing, more useable, more interesting, and more of this or more of that.

A harmless obsession, though conceiving one of those strikingly original ideas (like the annoyingly simple ones that EVERYONE wishes they'd thought of) creates quite the Performance in my behaviour, and I wind up going round in circles, getting stuck and procrastinating on how to deliver content. The Reality of this is that my Interpretation of what it means to have an original idea, coupled with the Decision to focus so intently on novelties that don't serve me, leads to an emotional experience of frustration that begets more poor Performance.

I see the same cycle perpetuated in almost all of my clients' performance problems, and the reason for this is that thoughts determine Performance. Many of us, however, are mostly unaware that this is the case. We are unaware of what we are thinking, and we are unaware of how to correct a thought that isn't helpful. This concept is the basic premise of how I coach, and here is how it works:

There is always a Performance: a combination of actions, non-actions, opinions, judgements, feelings, choices, and all sorts of other things bundled into a story. My job is to disassemble all this into edible chunks and help people to sort the wheat from the chaff.

The first chunks I separate are the Realities, there are often quite a few, and we have to find the one that is true for everyone.

Then we look at Interpretations; the ideas, beliefs and thoughts that one has about the facts, along with the subsequent feelings that are engendered by the thinking.

All of the above culminates in Decisions and choices that create our experiences; we unpick all of that here.

Finally, we look at the experiences that have arisen from the whole system, that will inevitably feedback into the Performance.

By Nature's design, the system is cyclical, so the final touches are about understanding where and how to interrupt the performance so that we might create a new one.

As you might have noticed, I found my acronym, a proudly queer and appropriate one at that. As an analytical tool, it fascinates me. As a support tool, it's empowering. And as a coaching tool?

Well, why not try for yourself?

P: The Performance is the totality of things going on around a topic. Describe your performance. Lay it all out. How did it start? Where does it happen? Who is involved, and what are their roles? Victims, Allies, Lovers?

R: Figure out which part of your story is the reality that would be true for EVERYBODY involved. Please write it down briefly, as a one-line summary.

I: Answer these questions: How are you interpreting that reality? What do you make it mean? How does it feel when you believe your interpretation?

Interpretations consist of both feelings and thoughts, can you separate them? Do you notice how thoughts always engender the emotion?

D: What Decisions are you making based on your emotions? What do you choose, and what do you do, when you believe your interpretations?

E: What are you Experiencing as a result of the Interpretations and Decisions? Where did your decisions lead?

Did you notice how the end experience feeds your performance and perpetuates the experience?

Now, think about how you might interrupt the system to create a better version of events.

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