Reply To: Positive Statements – Triggers

Paul McCabe
PSTEC Pro and Forum Moderator

    Hi Tomas,

    I am sure Peter will have his own take on this.

    I am not sure which specific posts you are referencing, but I think three points are important here.

    1) Trigger points can be very important and they give a sense of immediacy and specificity to suggestions, but it might not always be possible to attach a trigger point to every suggestion. It will depend on what you are trying to accomplish.

    2) The nature of this medium (being a forum, as opposed to a live interaction) means that some of the suggestions could potentially be quite generic in nature – this might be because information is missing/vague in the original post. Forums can provide great information and discussion, but lack the immediacy and dynamism of being able to “dialogue” with someone in person.

    To save a lot of “back and forth”, occasionally more generic information may be given, and that can lead on to a breakthrough.  Crucially, though, there is a fair amount of trial and error with any process. How have you gotten on with suggestions that did not have a trigger?

    With any suggestion, it is best to refine it to your own needs so that it fits what you are looking to accomplish.

    3) Crafting suggestions is an art, as opposed to an exact science, I would contend. So,  for example, if someone presented an issue of feeling nervous around their boss, certain approaches would be suggested – CT the emotion, and use a PP suggestion “From now on I feel confident around my boss.” This would be fine, of course, and I would imagine such a suggestion would prove helpful.

    Well, the more defined trigger point can come from the user. The user may know their boss as “Sharon” and may be feeling nervous about a meeting with Sharon at 9am tomorrow. Thus, it would likely prove more effective to run the suggestion as “At the 9am meeting with Sharon tomorrow, I will be confident.”

    In such an example, it would also be worthwhile defining the behaviours that make up “confident” for you. So, an event could have a list of PP statements (with triggers) associated with it:

    “If Sharon stares at me, I maintain eye contact” etc.

    So, with that in mind, if you have seen any PP suggestions that do not have trigger points and believe adding them will help, I would recommend doing just that. I recommend personalising them and making them specific.

    “If X (something happens), then Y (I exhibit… behaviour).”

    There are other ways to formulate these, but I hope this post helps.



    Paul McCabe – PSTEC Master Practitioner

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