The STOP tool
I learned the STOP tool many years ago from Tim Gallwey who developed it as part of his very effective Inner Game coaching and development practice. It’s a really helpful tool to use both in an ’emergency’ or to use for periodic life reviews to see if you’re on the track you want to be on or whether you need to refocus.
The STOP tool* is used to:
Organise your thoughts
Step back – put distance between yourself and whatever you are involved with in that moment.
Think – do I need a long or short pause? What am I feeling? How am I reacting?
Organise (your thoughts/activity etc) – Collect yourself. Find a sense of balance, allow space to think clearly, independently and creatively.
Proceed – only when you feel you have had the time to reflect and evaluate before moving into action
STOPs can be of any length.
- Two second STOPS for example can be used before you answer the phone or before you speak or as you feel an emotional reaction of anger or hurt.
- Medium STOPS can be used as morning or evening reflections, when considering options, when faced with a difficult situation, really for any situation that would benefit from time taken to consider the possible consequences.
- Big STOPs are more big picture moments, opportunities to hit the pause button and have a long look from a more strategic perspective.
(*Source: The Inner Game of Work by W. Timothy Gallwey)
Use more of the tools listed in the Tools section to help with your journey.