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Bricks and the City – Why is the earth round, why is the sky blue (occasionally) what makes us who we are??
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Bricks and the City – Why is the earth round, why is the sky blue (occasionally) what makes us who we are??

As I mentioned in my first blog, when I was doing my coaching qualifications I had to write academic essays about change and also about coaching in the workplace which involved delving into the subject of workplace psychology.

What really interested me was the bit about what makes us who we are and how that translates into the workplace. One book that I found particularly interesting was this one:-

In accordance with Griffen and Tyrrell each human conception is born with an array of living ‘templates’ which instinctively seek completion in the environment from the moment of birth, and that continue to do so as we grow and evolve throughout our lives. human-givens

These patterns are expressed as physical and emotional needs and if we are fortunate, and are born into a culture and environment that provides us with the means to get those needs met, we develop well. It is precisely the way needs are met; by the impact life has on them, that determines the individual nature, character and mental health of each person.

This forms the basis of the Human Givens approach which talks about the physical and emotional needs programmed into us from our genes, these include:-

Security
Attention (to give and receive)
Sense of autonomy and control
Being emotionally connected to others
Being part of a wider community
Friendship and intimacy
Sense of status within social groupings
Sense of competence and achievement
Meaning and purpose

chartThere are many different ways in which these needs can be met, e.g. security from our family, the environment in which we have been brought up, security from our jobs, relationships, receiving and giving attention to our family and loved ones, being emotionally connected, having good friendships and support, a sense of belonging in our community, a sense of achievement in our working and leisure environment. If these needs are not being met then we can feel, amongst other things, out of balance, stressed and depressed.

Does this strike a chord with anyone? (you may not even have made it his far?!)

Values and Beliefs also play a huge part in making us who we are but what are these and how do we establish what they are?

Before I started receiving coaching myself I’d never really thought about my own values and beliefs but when you do identify what they are and you’re not living your life in tune with them then it can make life even more challenging. Values are the essence of who you are, different to morals, Morals are based on an individual’s judgement of what is good and what is bad, values could be judged by others as being good or bad. There are a few different tools and techniques for identifying values which I will post up in a future blog.

A belief is something we accept as being true or real. Our beliefs dictate our experience, Our beliefs shape us and mould us to suit our environment, they can be influenced by the world in which we were brought up, our country, government, location, community, family, religion, education and working environment to name but a few.

The key word in any belief is influence which is why many of those that we carry through our life stem from childhood. It is also important to note the word trance. Trance states can be induced when we become highly emotional and when someone else focusses our attention such as our parents, a teacher, a salesman, our boss or a leader in society.

If, for example we are told something in a trance state such as, you’re not this, you’re not that, you can’t do this, or that, or you’ll never be this, you will always be that then that can make us believe something about ourselves that is not true. We then carry evidence of it through our Reticular Activating System (RAS) which is the automative mechanism inside the brain that brings relevant information to our attention. In this case, the relevant information is evidence to substantiate our belief and the belief continues.

To summarise, an analogy I use is that we all have an inner compass to guide us through life, our human givens are what we need to thrive in our environment, our values are our markers to indicate when we are off course and our beliefs either take us to where we want to be or not depending on whether they are positively expansive, or limited.

And thus endeth my ramblings, a little heavy for a second installment but I really wanted to blog about this. A lot of this information was taken out of one of my essays so apologies if it sounds like I swallowed a text book, I literally did, and it was very painful, hope it wasn’t too painful to read!

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