Return on Investment on thinking

The year is coming to a rapid end. Most of us have invested heavily in this year. We invested huge amounts of energy, thoughts, actions and money. What did we get in return for our investment?

When Businesses look at ROI they look at the figures, but figures are not the only return we can get. Investing time to play with your child is returned with a warm hug. Investing in being considerate to your life partner has returns of appreciation.

These are valid returns on our investments but not measurable beyond the subjective experience we have. The standard assumption is that ROI must be measurable.

Take coaching for example. In 2009 the International Coaching Federation conducted a worldwide survey under coaching clients and suggests that there is an average return on investment for coaching of 700%.

That is quite a lot. 100% ROI means you get your money back. 700% means you get 7 times your money back.

My question is how you measure the ROI of learning how to think properly. Thinking effectively is the major value-add of coaching.

We all think. Unfortunately most of us are not aware of what we are thinking. For most of the time our thoughts are on autopilot. Letting our mind run freely on maps created by our experience and conditioning.

For most of the time, this is fine. We really do not need to concentrate on how to tie our shoes. The challenge comes when we start to interpret the interactions with our environment. Then we easily fall into ineffective thinking habits.

Examples of these are:

1.      Overgeneralization – You see danger in things that only remotely resemble the object or event you are avoiding.

2.      Catastrophe – You blow things out of proportion, always thinking of the worst possible outcome.

3.      Rigidity – You see things only in black and white.  You can’t tolerate uncertainty or ambiguity.  Things are either good or bad, and because of your overgeneralization, selective perception and lack of proportions, most things end up looking bad.

4.      Perfectionism – You convince yourself that you must be perfect and feel anxiety and stress over the fear that you will not live up to your expectations.

5.      Unrealistic expectations – You demand perfection.  You insist on a life free of challenges, tests and traumas.

Recognize any?

These think habits have a negative ROI. It results in stress, unhappiness, fear and strained relationships.

If coaching could turn this around, is it worthwhile to invest in it?

Thinking with you


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