I seem to put off blogging - despite the fact that I actually quite like it. I suspect the main reason for this is that I am not sure that I will think of anything worthwhile to blog about and it won't be of the standard I want. Of course, the whole thing is subjective and one person's view of worthwhile is another person's waste of time, so it really isn't a reason not to blog at all.
Eventually, I put on my Transactional Analysis hat and recognise that I'm allowing my drivers and injunctions to hold me back. Which gave me the subject for today's blog...
In the 1970s a clinical psychologist called Taibi Kahler recognised and described sets of behaviours which people exhibited before going into their typical or repeated behaviour patterns. These sets of behaviours were called drivers. We all have one or more (generally more) of these drivers, and they strongly influence how we behave. They are:
• Be Perfect
• Please Others
• Try Hard
• Be Strong
• Hurry Up
My own dominant drivers are Be Perfect and Be Strong. It can be a fabulous combination -- I've achieved a lot thanks to the high standards I set myself and because I've taken responsibility for my own success or failure.
However, the combination can be a bit of a curse too -- I stay up too late re-working and proofing everything that I do and I rarely, if ever ask for help, no matter what's going on in my life. So, just sometimes, I look at those other drivers and wish that I had those instead.
Of course, that wouldn't really help as they all have the same Jeckyll and Hyde nature. People who have a strong Please Others driver tell me that, although they love the friendships they have made and things that they do for others, they often feel that others take them for granted and they also had the habit of always doing what someone else wants to do and so have never achieved their own ambitions.
Try Hard causes people to "try" rather than "do", so can cause people to get stuck in a loop of attempting things yet never managing to complete them. On the good side, their Try Hard driver enables them to push outside their comfort zone and do more things than many other people.
Lastly, the Hurry Up driver helps people to get things done and on time, trouble is it also results in people never taking time to appreciate what they have and can lead to mistakes being made.
So, I've accepted my Be Perfect and my Be Strong and, since learning about them, can usually temper them somewhat. I can now accept (on a good day) that for many things "good enough, is good enough" and, just occasionally, I can admit to needing a bit of support now and again. I also accept the good side of my drivers and can recognise the things that they will be useful for in my role as a therapist and in my everyday life.
Knowing and understanding about drivers can be a useful step towards breaking some unhelpful patterns of behaviour -- and is one of the steps towards understanding why we get into the same situations and arguments again and again.
Once we recognise which of the drivers are strongest in us and appreciate the other drivers at work in other people, then we can both modify ours and tolerate others better. This can help at home and at work as we understand more about why people have the communication and working style that they do. For example, once we recognise the strengths and potential pitfalls of each driver we can organise our teams more effectively as well as our own work.
As a coach, part of my work with people is to identify their drivers and the times when those drivers are causing them problems. I can then help them to focus on the strengths of their drivers while reducing their negative effects. This in itself often leads to one or two "a-ha!" moments. Coupled with identifying the drivers counterparts -- the Injunctions - this area of coaching can result in some major positive changes being made by a client.
I'll cover Injunctions in a later blog (which I hope I won't be putting off so much!)