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Proactive Thinking For Everyone. How To Become Proactive? - Self-development, Society
Proactive Thinking For Everyone. How To Become Proactive? - Self-development, Society

Video: Proactive Thinking For Everyone. How To Become Proactive? - Self-development, Society

Video: Proactive Thinking For Everyone. How To Become Proactive? - Self-development, Society
Video: Proactive vs Reactive | Be Proactive 2023, March

In the film "Trick" with Will Smith there is an episode where the hero wins two million dollars on a bet. The terms of the dispute were simple: you had to choose the number of any player on the football field, and Smith's character had to guess it (which he successfully did). But how is this possible?

Field dependence

A little later in the plot, the secret of focus is revealed. The selected player's jersey was number 55, and it was this number that the scammers suggested to their future victim during the entire time before the match. For example, only on the way from the hotel to the stadium did the victim observe the number 55 on the shirts of fans going to the stadium; on the posters of "accidentally" met strikers; on billboards; on the number of the car driving in front, etc. Whether consciously or not, the number 55 was literally imposed on the victim, who had no choice but to make a guess at the player number 55 at the stadium.

Why am I using this example?

In behavioral psychology there is such a term - field dependence. Usefulness means that our actual behavior is completely determined by external stimuli, environmental conditions. It is believed that the behavior of animals is completely field dependent. This is very easy for pet owners to understand.

Show your pet some tasty treat, put it in an accessible place and say in a stern voice: "You can't!" While you are around, most likely the command will be executed. But as soon as you turn away and / or leave the room for a while, the delicacy will be quickly destroyed. Obviously, it is useless to talk about conscience with a dog (and even more so with a cat). Regardless of the degree of training, their behavior will still remain field-dependent: “If the owner is nearby, you cannot touch the tasty treat; if the owner is not in sight, everything is possible."

A person can also be field dependent, performing actions under the influence of stimuli from the external environment, the action of which he may not even guess

If the example from the movie "Focus" seems to you artificial (although something similar is often used by professional magicians-mentalists and marketers), then what can you say about the "theory of nudge" (nudge theory)? For this theory, Richard Thaler received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2017.

The main idea of the " theory of nudge " is precisely that indirect, indirect impact on human behavior (including economic) is much more effective when it is carried out through the creation of such external conditions / incentives that maximally facilitate this very behavior, but not forced to him. Basically, the idea sounds like this: create the right "field" - and people will demonstrate the desired field-dependent behavior.

As you might guess, Nobel Prizes are not awarded for anything, and the "theory of nudge" is confirmed by many experiments and illustrative examples. Here's the simplest example: being overweight is associated with overeating, and the amount of food consumed is directly related to the size of the dishes from which we eat this food. Therefore, in order to lose weight without any diets, it is enough to simply reduce the size of the plates (that is, change the "field").

Human behavior (unlike animals) is most of the time field independent. But it's better to use a more precise term - proactivity. Like any living being, a person has activity. Part of this activity is reactive - that is, arising in response to external stimuli (the very "field" in which we exist). Reactive behavior helps us adapt to environmental conditions, adjust to them.

Another part of our activity can be called proactive - arising under the influence of internal stimuli, such as our personal goals and values. Proactivity (as opposed to reactivity) is always more ambitious, long-term and creative than simple adaptation to the situation

Conscious choice

In the book of the founder of logotherapy, Viktor Frankl, "Man in Search of Meaning", there is a chapter "A Psychologist in a Concentration Camp", where the author describes his experience (including his own) of survival in these inhuman conditions. Trapped in a concentration camp first experienced shock. Then came the phase of adaptation, when, with the help of reactive behavior, the prisoner at least somehow adapted to the camp life. But even the best adaptation to camp conditions could not guarantee survival. And Frankl asked the question: why some can not stand it and quickly die, while others manage to overcome everything and survive?

It turned out that those who survive (despite the dire conditions) do something beyond simple adaptation. It is over-situational (beyond the requirements of the current situation) and proactive behavior, sometimes very simple. For example, the Nazis did not regulate the personal hygiene of prisoners in any way. But if the prisoner continued brushing his teeth every morning (or taking care of himself in some other way), then his chances of survival were several times greater than those of those who "gave up on themselves."

Proactivity is the ability to act for a better future, independently (and often in spite of) the pressure of external factors ("field")

Proactivity is also associated with a conscious and responsible choice of a specific action "here and now", but in favor of their main goals and values. It sounds paradoxical, but, oddly enough, it is easier to be proactive in extreme situations, when a clear choice is made between life and death.

It is much more difficult to be proactive in everyday life when the choice is not so obvious. Imagine that you have a choice every day: get an extra 20 minutes of sleep in the morning (this will be reactive behavior) or wake up 20 minutes earlier and use this time for morning exercises (proactive behavior). Is it easy to make such decisions in favor of proactivity many times a day ?!

QBQ technique

Being proactive is not easy, but the good news is that being proactive is a certain way of thinking and a skill that can be developed. For example, John Miller, author of the book Proactive Thinking. How simple questions can dramatically change your work and life”suggests the QBQ (The Question Behind the Question) technique. The technique should be applied in all life situations when you feel that your behavior has become too reactive (you do not control your life, "go with the flow", "get stuck in a routine", feel helpless in the face of circumstances, etc.).

The essence of the technique is very simple: you need to formulate for yourself a QBQ-question about your life situation in a certain way and find several answers to it. A QBQ question has three parts:

  1. What? How? How?
  2. I (in this situation; "here and now").
  3. Can do (to make a difference for the better in line with my goals and values).

The QBQ question formula seems simple, but it has a lot of pitfalls. For example, it is forbidden to use in the question "Why?", "When?" and who?". The question "Why?" sends us back in time, making us look for excuses and feel like the victim instead of focusing on solving the problem. The question "When?" inappropriate, because it creates fertile ground for endless postponement. And the question "Who?" is an attempt to shift the responsibility for solving your problem onto someone else.

For example, parents might put a reactive question like this: "Why did my son get involved with bad company?" This is a bad question, because you can endlessly search for reasons ("why"), loading yourself with a sense of guilt. In addition, the wording "my son" implies shifting responsibility for problems exclusively to the son.

What would a proactive QBQ question look like then? Something like this: "How can I help my son learn to better understand people?" The answer to this question assumes that you will not look for the guilty, but focus on how exactly (in the very near future) it will be possible to confidentially talk with your son and discuss the criteria for choosing good / bad friends with him.

The QBQ technique is quite simple, you just need to learn how to bring any of your complaints, discontent and claims (to yourself, to others, to the world) to the formula “What (in accordance with my goals / values) can I do in this situation?” this question (that is, make a choice, make a decision) - and act

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