#StayHomeSA Day 11 - Cause and Effect

Day 11. Monday 2. It starting to sound like we are counting days after some apocalypse… Perhaps it should read "Day 11. I still see no people outside. I heard I siren today. Not sure what it was. Food is running low. We will need to go scavenging soon… "


Alas, This is no apocalypse and Spar, Checkers and Pick and Pay are open. Bless capitalism!


Last week when discussed the wheel of life, and how it can help us identify areas of lack in our lives, I briefly mention the use of a cause and effect analysis.


Today we will look at a very useful, and simple tool to use. The Fishbone diagram or Ishikawa diagram was developed by Kaoru Ishikawa to show the causes of a specific event. This has historically been used mainly in engineering, but more recently has found its way into other industries, since it can be used anywhere that you have cause and effect relationships.


The fishbone diagram can just as easily be applied to our personal lives.


The diagram is split into two main sections, the problem, and the causes.



The fish head is the problem, so if you had to draw your own, write down the problem or effect you would like to get to the bottom of, in the head of fish.


Now, consider each of the fish bones as a cause of a problem.


Let's use an example; Mike gets home late one evening. He's been out with the boys, and a few of the ladies from showed up. Including the new girl in accounting, Sarah. Mike has not been able to avoid her, and she has such a beautiful smile. Things at home have not been awesome, so it has been easy for Mike to smile back at her. It felt like there was a connection. The evening was fun, and though there were a few hugs exchanged at the end of the evening, Mike despite being very drunk, did not try to steal a kiss. He went straight home.

When Mike gets home, he walks over to his Mary, his wife and politely greets her, trying not to breathe to close and give away how much he had to drink… before Mike could turn around, Mary slapped him with all the might of a heavyweight fighter. Mike is now blessed with a black eye.



So what is the Problem/Or effect here? Mike has a black eye. On the surface, we may assume Mary simply does not like it when Mike goes out and does not want him to have fun. But since we want to make sure we do not jump to conclusions, let's use the Fishbone Diagram.


Each bone is assigned a perceived cause of the problem. In our example, Mike was drunk, he smelt like a woman's perfume and so on. So once we have filled the cause on each bone, we can now dig even deeper into the causes.


Consider "Mike is drunk" as the problem. What would be the causes of that?


Now, our example is terribly simple, and perhaps a bit silly. The diagram can be used to delve deep into personal emotional issues. I personally used this process to understand a problem I had in my relationship with my father.


The tool is fun to use in a group setting as well. In a recent client engagement, we used the diagram in a total of 27 interdepartmental meetings, to resolve a number of issues.

As in the work environment, it also helps us to explain and understand how our actions have an effect on other people (or other departments, if you choose to use this at work), and how their behaviours can affect our actions and emotions.


When you start to dig into your own mind, as you work to finding what drives you, this tool can also help identify issues that molded you into the person you are today.


Dr. John Demartini explains in the Value factor, that every value is developed from a need. One of my values is to coach and influence. A deep delve brought out an absent father when I needed a father figure the most, as one of the needs that created this value. If you were raised in a very poor household, a need for basics needed for survival may have created a value that demands wealth or to protect others.


If you have a special "problem" you would like to get to the bottom of, send me a message, or comment on this post for a complimentary coaching session to work through this with you.

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