Which kind of system you will ask? Family – can be one of your system. Work – is another system. Hobby or sport activities clubs your are part of – is again another system. We all belong to different systems which are constantly changing. The change is inevitable since during the entire existence of every system their members are changing as well.
I remember in one of the courses I was part of, we had an exercise which had a big impact for many of the participants of this course.
Some of us realized how easy and necessary was to change some behaviors in order to improve the entire system, some of us have improved relationships with family members, some of us improved relationship with colleagues.
This exercise I would like to share with you today.
Are you ready to meet your system and convert into a self-coach for a moment? This exercise might reveal some important information for you, the same way as it did for me, so its worth spending some time.
What do you need for this exercise? Paper and pen.
It´s not just reading this time, so before continue reading please take a paper and pen 🙂
First step consists of defining your system: for example, your family. The important is to choose the system you care about or system that you would like to improve.
Then, lets define our system members: in our example, it would be family members (our parents, sisters & brothers, sister-in-law, nieces and nephews). You decide who will appear in your system.
Then you draw a circle for yourself in the middle, and for each family member you will draw triangles or squares, each of them will be appearing around your circle (you) on the same page as well.
Once you have yourself and your family members placed on the same page, the next step will be to define the strength of your relationship, and to do this please follow the below indications:
you will be drawing different types of lines between you and every family member, depending on the strength of your relationship with them.
For STRONG relationship: draw triple line ≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡
For NORMAL relationship: draw regular line —
For WEAK relationship: draw the dotted line — — ——— —
For CONFLICT relationship: draw crossed line ≠
Got it? How does your system look like? Is it the system you are happy with?
You can clearly see how strong your relationships within your system are.
Now let´s try to analyse every line that you have drawn between your family members.
As an example, lets imagine that you have dotted line (weak relationship) with your brother.
The following questions would apply to every family member (every line):
Weak relationship with brother, is it good for the entire system? How do you feel about it? How does every member of the system feel about it?
Do you want to improve this relationship? If yes, how do you think you can do it? Maybe by calling more often or show more interest in his live?
What would be the most significant change that you imagine after trying to improve your relationship?
How the entire system would feel about the change?
Do you think that in the future your weak relationship with your brother would affect your relationship with someone else? As an example, imagine your brother has a child and you become an aunt or uncle. DO you think that your current situation with your brother will impact your relationship with your niece or nephew? IF you are not interested in his life, do you think he would be sharing with you important moments of the childhood of his baby?
Imagine your ideal system (you can even draw the new one the way you would want it to be), how far are you from your ideal system?
These are the questions that we would have to answer for every family member that appear in our system.
This exercise gives us clear picture on the systems we are forming part of.
We can decide our level of involvement, we can choose to leave it the way it is or start generating the change, where all system members benefit from it.
Are you happy with your current system? Have you discovered something new with this exercise? Or maybe you decided to make some changes to generate positive impact?
As always, I would be happy to hear your thoughts, what worked for you and how strong is your system.