Dare to think systemically

Looking at relationships from the systemic approach point of view enables one to change paradigms and thereby to consider interactions according to their dynamics. By changing paradigms, human relations no longer rely on individuals but rather on the circularity that sets in between them. One no longer looks for the origin of the dysfunction but, instead, for clues in order to change the (failed) attempts at solutions that had been tried in that situation.

“The belief that one’s own view of reality is the only reality is the most dangerous of all delusions.”

Adopt systemic thinking

Considering the possibility of thinking in a systemic manner implies integrating certain principles which linear (common) thinking excludes. 

  • One has to consider the fact that reality does not exist, everyone has their own, their personal interpretation of what they are going through. 
  • One has to assimilate the fact that by trying to resolve a problem, a human being tends to entertain this very problem
  • Conscience has to be part of interactions in a system: every individual in a system influences that system’s dynamics. There is no-one specifically responsible for a situation. 

One must imperatively remember that the context conditions relationships. Thus, any change in context influences the relationships in a system.

Learn how to think systemically

Systemic thinking relies on the capacity to look at a problem or a difficulty as a whole, considering every individual’s reality, as well as the holistic view of the situation. It is therefore not really intuitive but rather about always questioning the initial reflexes that are used to attempt to resolve a given difficulty or problem. Here are some tips on how to practice thinking systemically.

In every situation, one has to try to understand the reality of the person one interacts with. A person always has a good reason to react the way they do and, more often than not, they do so unconsciously. The fear, anger, sadness, etc. that are triggered by a situation are all motors that can explain a person’s reaction. Practice picking-up on these signs that reveal the emotions of the person you are interacting with.

When a vicious circle sets in, the first step is being able to identify it. In a deadlock situation, try to determine the loop: “The more I have to prove my skills, the longer I find my explanations are, the more my boss holds that against me, the more I’m under pressure to prove my skills, which brings me back to explaining things longer….”

When faced with a blockage, a situation in which “you have tried it all” can be very frustrating. Generally speaking, all your attempts at resolving the problem only make it worse (they really do, I can assure you!). This is known as homeostasis: to subconsciously and naturally always end up doing the same thing. Practice approaching blockage situations from a totally different angle than the one you are currently used to.

"We entirely depend on the acknowledgement of our reality by others, who themselves expect us to recognise theirs."