CoachStation Perspective Scale
One of the biggest and most common challenges we see with our clients is managing emotions in specific situations. This tool provides an excellent way to apply logic in the moment to moderate your responses and ensure that emotion doesn’t dominate the response.
Perspective, in the context of leadership and life balance, refers to the way we view, interpret, and respond to various situations, challenges, and opportunities, both in our professional and personal spheres. It’s an integral component of effective leadership and achieving a harmonious life balance. We have developed a process that has assisted many of our coachees and clients to gain perspective and a better balance regarding their own reactions.
The Perspective Scale is a very useful tool and mindset to assist in finding an appropriate balance between immediate emotional responses and logical reactions.
In our dynamic world of decision-making, emotions and logic often find themselves at opposing ends. Too much emotion can cloud judgment, while an over-reliance on logic can strip away the human essence of our experiences. The CoachStation Perspective Scale is a transformative tool designed to harmonise these two forces, empowering you to navigate challenges with both clarity and empathy. To use this resource effectively, you need to establish a scale based on your own judgments first. Once established and with practice, all situations and moments can be quickly assessed against your initial scaling. Rarely is the situation actually as significant as your first emotional response would assume. That is how the process works. It finds a balance between your initial emotional response and places a sense of practical, logical thought to the moment. Let me explain the process.
- Setting Your Personal Scale: The Perspective Scaling Process works on a 1 – 100 set of values, where 1 represents a very small incident or situation with next to no lasting impact. An example could be a paper-cut. A 100 would be the most damaging and worst outcome or scenario you could think of. Most people consider losing all of their family members in an accident as an extreme, yet relevant example. Begin by identifying the most impactful event or situation you can imagine, something you’d rate as a 100 – the pinnacle of emotional and logical challenge. This serves as your personal reference point, against which all other events can be compared.
- Building Your Scale: Once you have set scale situations at either end relevant to you, work backwards by roughly 10 point increments and consider what situations would apply for each number. A 90 may be losing an individual family member; an 80 a reasonably major car accident with lasting injuries; a 70 could be a divorce; a 60 based on being made redundant at work etc. Once you reach 20 your scale should be reflective of those things that occur more commonly and with a lesser impact. Single-figure circumstances should be things that have no lasting impact at all, possibly more frustrating than serious.Descend from your pinnacle event, listing situations in decreasing order of emotional and logical impact. For every 10-point decrement, identify a scenario or event with proportionally less impact. This structured approach ensures a broad spectrum of experiences, ranging from the profoundly transformative to the daily mundane.
- Application in Real-Time: Now that you have established a ‘baseline’ and reference points, it is important to keep referring back to the scale throughout the day, as situations occur. This is where the process comes into it own. When faced with a challenge or decision, pinpoint where it lies on your Perspective Scale. Is it a seismic event, warranting a 90, or a minor hiccup, perhaps a 10? By quantifying the impact, you can allocate emotional energy and logical analysis in proportions to the situation, ensuring a balanced response.
- Iterative Refinement: As you grow and evolve, so too will your scale. Regularly revisiting and adjusting your personal scale ensures the tool remains a reflection of your current self, resonating with your values and experiences.
Creating and using a scale based on balancing logic and emotion isn’t just a tool; it’s a mental framework. By creating a tangible reference for life’s various challenges, it promotes a balanced approach to problem-solving. The quantified impact aids in avoiding overreactions to minor setbacks or underestimating significant challenges. In practice, this translates to decisions made with clarity, responses delivered with empathy, and an overall enhanced ability to respond with appropriate perspective based on the situation.
We often immediately respond to a moment or event in an overly emotional manner.
The challenge with primarily emotional responses, particularly when considering relationships is that it generally inflames a situation. It is out of proportion and is weighted too heavily to emotions, lesser to logic and pragmatism. An emotional response is quite normal and is part of being human. What may feel immediately is a ’50 or 60′, is quickly re-identified by applying the Perspective Scale as a lower number, commonly at a ’20’ or below. This ‘self-check’ then allows us to respond more appropriately and effectively.
Recognise that every emotion has a place. However, being overly-emotional on a consistent basis can be detrimental to your credibility, perception and effectiveness.
Learning to take control of immediate emotional responses is an important aspect of being emotionally intelligent. Through use of the perspective tool, you will strike a balance between the initial emotion-laden reaction and the purposeful logic that enables a balanced conversation and approach. With practice, you will be able to apply the Perspective Scaling Process within seconds. In fact, it is a great opportunity to pause and take a breath prior to responding.
Perspective is gained through understanding. That is, understanding of self and others. The most effective and simple way to improve understanding is to ask key questions. Positioning these questions in a way that makes it more about understanding and less about challenging perceptions take some of the heat out of the moment. It also demonstrates that you are listening to what has been said. Depth in this skill come from paraphrasing and delving into the answers provided.
This is what I call ‘layer 2 and 3 questioning’. Accepting the first response from someone generally provides little opportunity to truly understand. Without understanding, our assumptions commonly lead us to make incorrect decisions; see things only or primarily from our perspective or value-set; and similar, less effective responses.
When we see things primarily from our own perspective, it is difficult to genuinely influence others. Seeking understanding and caring about those closest to you, at work or home, builds trust, relationships and ability to influence.
How you demonstrate this care is up to you. However, taking the time to consider all views; seek understanding of what matters to you and others; providing appropriate context; and developing appropriate questioning skills are all ways to more meaningfully influence.
We are very passionate about people understanding what their core values are. In fact, this is one of the cornerstone aspects of our coaching, mentoring and development programs. Values and perspective are intimately intertwined, influencing and shaping one another in profound ways.
At their core, values represent the fundamental beliefs and principles that guide our choices, behaviours, and understanding of the world. Perspective, on the other hand, represents our viewpoint or interpretation of experiences and situations. Here’s how they align:
- Grounded Emotionality: Our values often stem from deeply emotional places, representing core beliefs and feelings about what is meaningful in life. Emotions give colour and depth to our experiences. When we act in alignment with our values, we feel a sense of satisfaction, fulfillment, and integrity.
- Rational Alignment: Logic helps us process and make sense of the world. It allows us to assess situations objectively and consider potential consequences. When our actions align with our values, the logical reasoning behind our choices becomes clear and coherent, reinforcing our convictions.
- Balancing Act: Emotion without logic can lead to impulsiveness, while logic without emotion can result in cold decision-making. A balanced perspective, informed by both emotion and logic, enables us to respond to situations in a manner that aligns with our values while also being pragmatically sound.
- Growth Through Reflection: By regularly reflecting on our values and examining our perspectives, we strike a balance between emotion and logic. This reflection allows us to adapt, evolve, and grow, leading to a deeper and broader perspective over time.
- Consistency in Uncertainty: In the face of challenges and uncertainties, our values provide a stable foundation. By using both emotion to connect with our core beliefs and logic to navigate the situation, we can maintain a consistent perspective that aligns with our values.
- Empathy and Understanding: Our values, shaped by emotions, enable us to empathize with others. Logic allows us to understand differing perspectives, even if they clash with our own. Together, they help in building bridges, fostering understanding, and expanding our world-view.
In essence, values provide the compass, while perspective – balanced by emotion and logic – determines the path we take. They together help us navigate the complexities of life with a sense of purpose, clarity, and wisdom.
When values and a balanced perspective align, we find harmony in our choices and a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.