Paralysis by Analysis

Ever heard the expression – “Paralysis by analysis”?

In Management guru language the term “paralysis by analysis” the over analysis of a topic, subject, person, state and or situation that renders the same incapable of “productive” action – micro management is another term – you may know someone who has received this unwelcome act?

To reduce the effects of paralysis from a coaching perspective we must first of all understand it, to master why people don’t do what they say they need to do – why they are paralysed from taking the right course actions.
Did you know that there are more businesses failing in the UK than starting up? More marriages failing than ever before? More bankruptcies, repossessions, obese people and suicides than ever before? (according to my very basic research on the web that is) if the above is true why is that? Is it because metrics have never been recorded as they are now or are we in a time when we have been given pretty much everything we could or should need to live a life but our value of “it” has changed? Just a thought….

Doing what needs to be done is (in my opinion) the biggest challenge we face in order to move away from damaging patterns or unfulfilled goals or directions…

You know what you need to do so why aren’t you doing it? Is a term I often hear during coaching interventions or management observations – a term directed at a member of staff and yet the person saying it could quite easily say it about themselves – here is the juicy reason:

It is not important enough.

There it is – the answer in five simple words – it is simply is not important enough. So let me give you an example of IMPORTANCE and how a scenario can be changed by something with added “importance”

I ask a staff member to lift up a heavy object such as a car – they may try, they may laugh and ask why, they may budge the car ever so lightly.. but the car doesn’t move much. The scenario is now changed..

The car is trapped on a loved one. Ok you don’t need to have this explained, the sudden surge of adrenalin, the energy increases, the commitment goes through the roof and the probability of success is greatly increased.

So when you or others suffer from a paralysis when it comes to your own or others performance it is simply not enough to apply PMA (Positive mental attitude) but to recognise that that whatever the goal or objective etc it is that you want to achieve – it is simply is not important enough at this time, what is truly needed is for you or them to truly grasp the importance of what it is you want them or you to do – language, visuals, examples – whatever it takes to get the message home – do it.

So how do you make something important?

To move from paralysis to action recognise that a, you are in paralysis and b. the goal, tasks or objective you want simply isn’t at the top of your agenda righty now, so don’t worry about it! Unless of course the same tasks objectives etc are causing you or others some serious concern – (drinking/gambling/irresponsible thinking about money / relationships etc) and spend some time asking yourself why it suits you to stay in the procrastination zone and then even more time in addressing why doing something about it has even greater benefits – write your answers down, share them, get creative! Then take some action and review it – congratulate yourself with the results and hey presto – behaviour breeds behaviour! New patterns will emerge and the way that you think about a situation that historically you’ve procrastinated on before will never seem the same again.

Lose the old damaging habits – gain fresh healthier ones and get better outcomes!

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