This free exercise, and dozens of others, were created for our book, Clueless: Coaching People Who Just Don’t Get It. You can learn more about Clueless by visiting our site or you can buy it from amazon.com today.
Purpose of Exercise: Help clients determine whether they have an optimistic or pessimistic style of dealing with life situations.
How to Administer and Use this Exercise to Facilitate Behavior Change: People have different ways of looking at their successes and failures when it comes to goal implementation and behavioral change. These perceptions or attributional styles can either be described as optimistic or pessimistic. For example, individuals that tend to blame themselves for negative events or failures in their life believe that such events are a direct result of their efforts, will continue indefinitely, and will describe their lives in general. A pessimistic attributional is likely to interfere with successful goal setting and implementation. This exercise can help you assess your client’s attributional style in exploring their motivation to implement behavioral change efforts.