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  • Writer's picturePhil Cole

The Hidden Outcomes of Preferences

We often accept the outcomes of our preferences. Until negative outcomes outweigh the discomfort of learning, we continue to use these preferences. This activity reveals the hidden negatives so that we can see our impact upon the group.

Think about a behavior that you use frequently. This behavior likely makes you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed, and it likely occurs in a stressful or high-pressure situation. Think of the last time you used this behavior, and answer the following questions based on that event.

  • Do you generally do this behavior?

  • Is it your go-to when things get difficult?

  • Do you apply it without consideration?

  • What results did it produce?

  • Did you accomplish the immediate outcome you want?

Imagine that you are the member of the group who experiences this behavior. Answer the following questions from his or her perspective.

  • What was the experience of this behavior from the member’s perspective?

  • What did this person feel or think during the event and afterward?

  • Was he or she distracted or upset, fearful or disengaged?

  • What effect did this have upon the member’s ability to perform work?

Returning to your perspective, consider the following questions.

  • Did the outcome last, or does the situation reoccur?

  • What outcome would happen in a perfect world?

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