We all have opinions about everything but are not present in it.
I realized this about a month ago when I participated in a transformative program. I got value from the tools shared there. Let’s discuss one such tool—CYO—which allows you to Catch Your Opinions.
This tool gave me a good opening. The opening was: If I can “catch” my opinion, then I can know who is “bowling” it and who is “batting” on it. Okay, it is cricket’s analogy; it is good for understanding the point.
While having an opinion about everything is normal, the opportunity is to catch our opinions with awareness and accelerate our effectiveness.
Enter CYO Process.
Through the CYO process, I access this possibility:
– I can deliberately become aware of my thoughts;
– I notice words before I speak and reframe them as “my opinions;”
– I notice my internal happening (=images I see) and reframe them as “my opinions;”
– My communication delivery (body gestures, written words, spoken words) can be super-effective because of the attention through which I validate my intention of communication delivery.
How do I catch my opinions?
I let a part of me continuously observe my thoughts and actions as if that part is not “me.” This is how I have been “catching” my opinions.
- Morning routine: On most days, I wake up by 5:30 am. While getting fresh, I read a book, watch a video, or listen to a podcast or audiobook. I notice my opinions, and along with the notes I make of the insights that I may possibly utilize in my work or life, I note my opinions.
- Work conversations: When in India/Ahmedabad, I reach my Sindhubhavan office mostly between 9 am to 10 am (exceptions: breakfast meetings at 8 am or meetings at 10 am outside the office) – and I mostly converse with my leadership team members on organizational priorities. I catch my opinions when I hear what they say. I notice their opinions through my opinions, and I give them mandates (again, my opinions) or receive their learnings through their spoken and unspoken words and review of their actions.
- What happens after: When I end my day, we watch Netflix for an hour. For me, the intention of watching Netflix is learning. If I get entertained, it is an added benefit. When I am doing that, I continuously catch my opinions.
Many more examples exist, but the above three will give good food for thought.
What do I do with my caught opinions?
Once I have classified a thought, an action, or a non-action as an “opinion,” I don’t feel good or bad, but I decide what I want to do about it. I work to improve the quality of my opinions, align them with other’s opinions, and work to create a shared opinion that ultimately is accepted by the team as a “shared view” of the future. I still have much work to do here and change my ways for good.
My opinion about CYO.
CYO may open new possibilities, and I am running different prototypes and observing if they are helping me reach the future I have envisioned.
Through my recent communication with an expert on the subject, I also realized that I operate based on ego. He didn’t tell me so, but our conversation made me realize it (=very important).
This realization gave me an amazing opening: I can now catch when I am letting my “ego” come into the picture.
I also know that it is okay if ego is coming into view because ego has helped me create whatever little ecosystem I have created—but it is possible to access collective creativity if I let the systems play themselves!