Posted by: Edward | December 4, 2009

Managing your CASE: congruence of action, self and environment

I moved recently. The act of moving forced me into a position of rethinking how I have been living my life in terms of Who I am and Where I am. The simple fact that I am in a new environment required that I change how I act to maintain congruence between my self and my environment

This lead me to the idea of CASE. CASE is the congruence of your action, self and environment. By examining and adjusting how your actions express yourself in relation to the contextual environment you are in you increase your effectiveness and reduce stress.

No matter where you are it takes place in the context of an environment of other factors. This extends from where you live and work to social media environments like twitter and facebook. As the environment you are acting within changes, different actions become appropriate and effective. It’s not a good idea to act in a bank like you do in a bar.

Congruence is a kind of balanced matching between elements. When your action is congruent it fits, it fits with you and it fits with where you are. There are different ways to congruence but however you do it, your actions get easier and more effective.

I’m thinking about self primarily in terms of capabilities and desires. What are you trying to acheive and what are you capable of doing towards those ends? If you aren’t taking these factors into account you’ll never really be congruent, you’ll be subsumed in your environment. People do this all the time at work. They’ve adapted to their jobs but forgotten why they are working there.

Of course, the key to this is your actions. It is through your actions that you express yourself and your intentions. It is your actions that must be adapted to pursue those intentions in terms that fit the environmental context.

When I moved my actions had to change. The resources available to me had changed. But the move provided another opportunity. It allowed me a context where it made sense to think about how my actions reflected what I wanted, where I was and whether there was congruency between these factors.

But you don’t need to move to get the same opportunity. Just take a moment to think about the environments you act in, and what you want, and whether your actions encourage congruency between these things or incongruency.


I can help you apply this in your work or personal life. And will do so for money. Email me at coaching [at] edwardewilson [dot] com with any inquiries.



  1. On the other hand, the hissy fits that people throw over minor irritations are both unhealthy and destructive. Anger has serious implications for your health. Research shows that among all the risk factors for heart disease, chronic anger is the most significant predictor — more than smoking, obesity and high blood pressure. Temper tantrums and other fits of anger are rarely useful. In fact, they erode not only people’s respect for you, but also your own self-respect.

    • I don’t understand… how is that on the other hand to anything I wrote in this article? I’m hardly suggesting temper tantrums as a way to improve one’s life.

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