Behavior - a consequence of the (thinking) position?Mental blockades - 2/2

Mental patterns are thinking habits. Thinking habits trigger human behavior and are subject to an attitude. For example, if we are pessimistic, we are most likely to wait or reject. If we find an optimistic attitude, we expect the good. And it goes even further; depending on our inner expectations, we seek confirmation of what we expect. It is also possible that we may hide other facts and only perceive (positive or negative) what we expected from the beginning.

Management and employee behavior are therefore always the result of (mental) attitudes and attitudes. If behavioral changes of people in companies and organizations are desired, for example, more entrepreneurial action, cost awareness, goal, and result orientation, better cooperation, customer orientation, etc., then it is necessary to create the necessary mental prerequisites (preconditions for thinking).

Very often it can be observed that the attempt to sustainably correct behavior, for example through reward or punishment, fails miserably. In such a case, the person will also sometimes take recourse to admonition or warning in order to bring about a change in behavior. Since behavior is, in the long run, a consequence of the attitude, each attempt of the behavior conditioning reaches too briefly and comes to an attempted „training“ equal. One cures at the symptom, not at the cause. If, on the other hand, it is possible to successfully change mental patterns, i.e. attitudes, a change in behavior is an automatic consequence. You can save yourself the futile trouble of trying to condition behavior.

Overcoming mental blockages

In order to overcome mental blockages, it is essential to stimulate the imagination, develop imagination and learn to think beyond existing frameworks. Instead of blaming or punishing a posture/attitude, it is necessary to help professionals and leaders effectively expand the existing framework. The person who is in a mental blockade must first make it clear that there are other ways of thinking at all.

The systemic intervention to irritate blockades of thought completely refrains from blaming the existing, historically grown patterns of thought or from denouncing their bearers. On the contrary, it recognizes and appreciates the ancestral mental models and patterns in their previous value contribution to the organization. At the same time, it effectively stimulates lateral thinking. One of the many very helpful means of professional systemic intervention is the presentation of practical examples from other organizations that think and act completely different and are successful. Another technique is the so-called paradoxical intervention, in which the owner of the mental blockade is deliberately exaggeratedly asked to stick to his traditional pattern of thinking and not to change it, even though the current framework for producing a good solution for existing problems is no longer suitable! This paradoxical request leads the owner of the blockade into the search for a new/extended solution.

All irritation instruments of organizational development for overcoming mental blockades in organizations have one thing in common: A deliberate irritation of thinking arises, confusion about previous patterns of thinking arises. Exactly this confusion is necessary in order to reduce the certainty of one’s own patterns of thinking and interpretation and thus to trigger the inner motive for the self-renewal of thinking. The stimulation of the imagination provides the necessary inspiration, which is urgently needed for the renewal of thinking.

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