For most of us, it is typical to look to external variables for solutions. In business, we may look to the economy, our competitors or marketing as the reason we aren’t achieving the results we want. In our personal lives, we blame our partners, finances or our social connections for not creating as much happiness as we’d like.
In my first career, I ran a successful private practice as a psychotherapist. My corporate clients included Fortune 500 companies who saw the value in offering their employees a limited number of therapy sessions as part of their health benefits. After counseling hundreds of people and hearing their stressors and challenges, I developed a model I call the “90 / 3 Rule.” Simply stated, 90% of our human challenges (both professional and personal) can be traced back to having origins in one of three areas. Sounds too simple to be true, right? However, after field testing it for years, it has proven to be accurate time after time.
The three areas are:
Think for a moment about a challenge you have recently experienced in a work scenario, with a client, an employee, or a loved one. Trace it back to its origins and see where a limitation in these areas may have contributed to the challenge evolving in to a bigger issue.
Mindset – The habitual mental attitude and system of beliefs that guide how you interpret and react to people and situations. How are your assumptions and long-held beliefs impacting your perceptions? Are there assumptions you are making about another person or their motives without having discussed it with them to see if you are accurate?
Communication – This includes what you say and what you don’t say through words, intent and overall expression to others, as well as your own self-talk. Are you authentically communicating what you need and want? Are you actively listening to the other person seeking to gain deeper understanding? Are you holding back some key information that would have helped dissipate the conflict?
Self-Assessment – A belief in oneself and one’s abilities; a willingness to step-up in order to be seen and heard. Self-love and self-confidence. Is your level of self-confidence helping or hindering you? Could anxiety about yourself and your level of performance be tainting the scenario?
When you are faced with a situation that requires problem solving, rather than looking outside of yourself, take time to consider that it could be an inside job. The good news is that these three areas are easily available. With practice, we can improve our skills in these three areas and experience massive shifts in the quality of our relationships, our work and our lives.