Archive for February, 2012

Degenerate Interventions?

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

One of the aspects of writing a blog that I find particularly interesting is looking at what people search for when arriving at my blog.  It is interesting as it gives me an idea of the blog posts that are most read – this in turn enables me to then concentrate on adding more on those particular subject areas.

One such subject is 6 Category Intervention Analysis (6CIA). I think the reason that I have so many hits regarding this subject is because there is so little about it on the internet – which is both surprising and a shame as it is a great coaching model. I originally wrote about it in the blog post in “Two of the best trainer models?”, where I explained the model and explored how it can be used.

In this blog post I will explain “Degenerate Interventions” and in my next blog post will look at “Perverted Interventions”.

There are four specific types of Degenerate Interventions (DI) within 6CIA. A DI is a misguided intervention as opposed to an intervention that is being deliberately maliciously or is Perverted. They usually occur where the practitioner or helper has a lack of experience in or understanding of using the interventions effectively.

Unsolicited Interventions

The first of the four categories occur where there is no formal practitioner – client relationship, and a person simply self-appoints themselves as the practitioner. Without being asked, they inform, advise, interpret, confront or seek information from the other person. This can often occur in social situations and take place in a manner that interferes with and is disrespectful of the other person’s autonomy. It is not malicious, just unsolicited and generally unhelpful.

Where there is an agreed practitioner – client relationship, this will define the sorts of interventions expected within the relationship. As an example, a bank customer in conversation with a bank manager would probably find interventions related to their finances as being entirely appropriately solicited, however, interventions in relation to their health are likely to appear improper and unsolicited.

Manipulative Interventions

Here the practitioner is motivated by self-interest and has little or no interest in the needs of the client. The practitioner will manipulate the client so that they get what they want from the interaction, whether the client gets anything worthwhile from it or not.

Particularly distasteful and concerning examples are where a practitioner manipulates the other person for the purposes of obtaining money or the satisfaction of power-play.

More common examples – particularly in the coaching arena – occur when the practitioner manoeuvres the client into saying and doing things only in a form that fits the educational or professional belief system that the practitioner holds dear to themselves. They lead the client rather than follow.

Compulsive Interventions

The source of Compulsive Interventions is to be found in unresolved or unacknowledged psychological experiences. These are often frozen needs or occluded distresses of previous years which the practitioner has not worked through and so they are unaware of themselves being driven by them, and so they influencing their interventions. They are less likely to occur where the practitioner has a good level of Emotional Competence or Intelligence, and where they undertake active supervision regarding their activities.

We sometimes see ‘compulsive helpers’ – these are often people who may well be using strategies that they used in their early years in order to survive. In Transactional Analysis (TA) terms they are driven by their Adapted Child and Controlling / Critical Parent ego-states and so do not operate in their objective Adult (although they believe they are in their Adult) ego-state. This will often result in only a limited range of interventions – and as the number is limited they are often misapplied and don’t fit the situation.

Unskilled interventions

This type of intervention is quite simply about a lack of competence. People who use these are limited by their scope and quality of interventions.

In the next blog post I will also look at how a person can eradicate these Degenerate Interventions.

Paul

The Ten Heads of Ineffective Listeners

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Last week I was delivering a session on Achieving Results through Effective Performance Management. At the conclusion of the day, I asked the delegates to tell me what had been most impactive for them and what they would be implementing in the workplace as soon as practicable. Two of them both talked about the relatively short section we had covered on blocks to effective listening.

Then today I saw a Tweet from an acquaintance which said, “Someone told me once that to deal with a complaint well, you have to open your ears ten times as much as your mouth – they were so right!”.

Consequently, I decide to blog about the Ten Heads of Ineffective Listeners. They are (in alphabetical order):

The Adviser – The Adviser is a problem solver, and is eager to provide suggestions and what they perceive to be help. In Transactional Analysis (TA) terms, this person operates strongly from the Parent ego state. Sometimes they only have to hear a few sentences and they know what the solution is for the person. Sadly, they don’t realise that a solution from their own experiences and viewpoints is unlikely to work for the other person.

The Comparer – As the name suggests, they love making comparisons. They compare what they hear to their own experiences, and compare themselves to the person.

The Derailer – This person suddenly highjacks the conversation – possibly due to boredom or because they are uncomfortable with a topic – often by either changing the subject or making a joke.

The Dreamer – This person hears something that triggers a memory or association in their mind and they drift off so that they are, at best, only partially listening to what the other person says.

The Filterer – Our Filterer listens to some things and not to others. They pay attention to what has caught their attention, what they find interesting or surprising, or the parts that support their views or opinions.

The Judger – This person judges or pre-judges either the person or their reactions from a values perspective, rather than listening to all the information and coming to a logical conclusion based on all the facts. In TA terms, they again operate primarily from the Parent ego state as opposed to the Adult ego state.

The Mind Reader – The Mind Reader doesn’t pay much attention to what a person says because they don’t need to (or so they think). They make assumptions, or guess at what is coming next or going on in the other person’s head. The Mind Reader excels at displaying little empathy.

The Placater – The Placater wants (or needs?) to be nice, pleasant and supportive. They want people to like them so the Placater agrees with almost everything the person says and does not make challenges at the appropriate moments. In TA terms, they are usually operating from their Adapted Child or Nurturing Parent ego states.

The Rehearser – What shall I say next? How shall I say it? Is this word better than that word? The Rehearser is constantly thinking about what to say next rather than listening. By the time they say their well-rehearsed sentence, the moment has probably passed. And they will have missed what has been said in the meantime. And it probably doesn’t come out well as they haven’t got it exactly as they wanted, because they were trying to get it out word for word. Their action plan is then to rehearse more next time, and the downward spiral continues.

The Sparrer – The Sparrer argues and debates with people about what they are saying, doing, believing, or explaining. The Sparrer has to talk. The other person doesn’t feel heard, can feel very frustrated and can be drawn into explaining and justifying.

There you go – I hope that helps. What it doesn’t answer is just why so many of us are so poor at listening to others.

I’m sure specific individuals have come to mind as you have been reading through the descriptions. But perhaps we should reflect as to whether any of them apply to us?

Paul