Of course you do! This was one of the takeaways for a group of High Growth Coaches attending a professional development day sponsored by Business West.
During the course, Exponential’s Managing Director, John Moore, invited coaches who are involved in the delivery of Coaching for Growth and the GrowthAccelerator to explore not only their own crooked thoughts, but the crooked thoughts that many of their client hold as well.
Drawing from Transactional Analysis (TA), the coaches explored how a range of TA concepts such as ego states, games and drama triangles and cognitive distortion (often known as ‘crooked thinking’) can be used to accelerate the impact of coaching interventions.
So what is a crooked thought? If you are thinking as you read this, ‘this is all nonsense and a waste of time’ as I never have crooked thoughts’, then you have just had a crooked thought. Crooked thinking involves discounting information, magnifying or minimising thoughts, generalising, jumping to conclusions, trying to read people’s minds, trying to fortune tell or labelling people or personalising issues.
But it is not only business coaches who have crooked thoughts. Customers and clients have crooked thoughts. Business owners and directors have crooked thoughts. Managers and team members have them as well.
One of Exponential’s mantras is “Great performance comes from consistently making great decisions whilst ineffective decisions result from consistently making ineffective ones.” Ineffective decisions are often ineffective because of crooked thinking as the crooked thoughts get in the way of making clear, well balanced decisions.
Learning how to detect a crooked thought, interrupting it and knowing how to manage it is critical to performance improvement. Once detected, a simple technique to smash the thought is to take a moment to reflect on the evidence that supports the crooked thought and to identify the evidence that refutes the crooked thought.
“It is amazing how daft some of our thoughts are and the direction they push us towards when making decisions,” said John Moore. “Once identified and ‘outed’ the crooked thought loses its power, freeing you to make an informed and balanced decision. I challenge everyone reading this paper, to listen out for your crooked thoughts for the next week and to challenge them and let me know this resulted in you making a better choice than you would have previously.”