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An analysis technique: Let’s clarify fears!

In order to become aware of the realistic threat of external influences, a very simple "fear analysis technique" has proven its worth in the past. Even in severe crises, it can help to put threats into perspective (not to ignore them!) and to switch to solution mode through targeted reflection.

I would like to give you the following four steps for self-coaching:

  1. What exactly is the problem (if possible, describe the fear/anxiety in a nutshell)? Writing it down is very important!

  2. What is my current estimate of the probability that this problem will occur (on a scale of 0-100%)? Also: Please write it down.

  3. Should this probability be more than 50% (of course, we can also do this exercise with an estimation of 20%): What concrete measures can we (ourselves!) take to prevent this problem from occurring? We recommend the technique of so-called Mindstorming: we write at least 15 points for the solution on a piece of paper. Even if it gets annoying and we can't think of anything after point 5: Continue. They can also be variations of the first points. This intensive exercise can sometimes lead to unusual and unexpected solutions which can be suppressed by approaches that are too fast and too obvious.

  4. If we now implement the best of the 15 possible solutions, what is the probability that the problem will occur? Ideally, it should now be below the probability previously estimated. If not: Back to the Mindstorming.

Of course, this small but intensive process does not help to solve all the problems of this world. And of course, there are problems that require other approaches or professional help and support. But for many of our current fears, this method can take away their threat because we take them by the horns and work actively and by ourselves to solve them.

The result is what cognitive psychology describes as self-efficacy. If we have the feeling and the conviction (and we can produce this ourselves) that we can solve difficult and challenging situations by our own efforts, we can be effectively available for other people, whether as a manager, colleague or mother/father. And in doing so, we learn for the future and develop the competence of our problem-solving ability.


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