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Review - De-conspiracise

What is the first thought that comes to your mind when an acorn falls on your head? Chicken Licken of course processed this as the sky was falling in. It didn’t end well for Chicken Licken and quite often when we jump to the first conclusion when assessing a situation, it often ends up not good for us too.

This month we will be looking at the methods I use through anxiety coaching that can be adapted to leadership to avoid anxiety and reduce mistakes.

  • Review – De-conspiracise

  • Reframe – Pre-mortem

  • Reduce – Box in the chimp

  • Rebuild – Outcome focused

Our first one, to Review and de-conspiracise, is one that Chicken Licken could well have benefited from.


Our brains process what happens first by comparing the situation to experiences to analyse if it is a threat or not. Have I come across something like this and is it a threat? All sounds good, but sometimes our brains can be prone to some unconscious bias or analysis. So, it is important to first of all review the situation and ‘say what you see’. Review the situation and bullet point the facts and events. What actually happened?


The next stage is to understand what you have tried to make sense of the facts in the situation with.

Then ask yourself, is it helpful?

Next ask yourself, what could the other explanations of these facts be?

Lastly, ask yourself which is more likely an explanation and which is more helpful.

All of this is helpful for someone struggling with anxiety about a situation. The same can be applied to leaders when they are considering a situation and what might need to happen about it.

  • What are the known facts? Say what you see.

  • How are you currently making sense of that? Is it helpful?

  • What unconscious or conscious bias might I be bringing into play?

  • What are the other explanations that make sense of what has happened?

  • Which is more likely? Which is more helpful?

  • What else might I need to find out to gain more clarity?

Now that you have clarity, you can consider what steps you might need to take. Taking time to get an accurate picture ensures you find the right cure for the issue. After all, Chicken Licken’s ill-thought-through conclusion led to a solution that involved Foxy Loxy and we know how that ended up!

If you would like help to review and de-conspiracise a situation, contact us at Everyday Leader. We can empower you to gain clarity with some simple questions and maybe a bit of grid work. Give us a call at 01449 710438 or email if you would like us to help you explore this and empower you.


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