Jackson took a view of people not as isolated individuals to be thought about or studied separately, but as part of the small or larger groups to which they belonged. Then any particular individual’s behaviour is seen as them adapting as well as they can to the way the group is operating.
As a coach or therapist, you’d remain constantly aware of the contexts within which your clients are finding their way. So you would always consider behaviour between people, rather than trying to look into the psychology of the individual.
Jackson assumed that people did the best they could at any given moment. He noted that terms like ‘ lazy' and ’stubborn' are not merely descriptive, but imply moral censure. His view helps us step away from pathologising, and instead towards positive assumptions.
From this perspective, what people say is a message about the nature of their relationships. You can read their statements and behaviours as a signal about how those relationships are right now. Something is going on in the system that makes the individual’s choice the best choice (though it may well not look like it). ‘How crazy a particular person appears to you depends on your frame of reference and the limits of your own experience,' said Jackson.