Navigating times of transition

The Transition Model was created by change consultant, William Bridges, and was published in his 1991 book “Managing Transitions”. The main strength of the model is that it focuses on transition, not change. The difference between these is subtle but important. Change is something that happens to people, even if they don’t agree with it. Transition, on the other hand, is internal; it’s what happens in people’s minds as they go through change. Change can happen very quickly, while transition usually occurs more slowly. You move from one “normal” to an altogether “new normal” in three stages.   Stage 1: Ending, Losing, and Letting Go This stage is often marked with resistance and emotional upheaval, because people are being forced to let go of something that they are comfortable with. At this stage, people may experience these emotions: fear, denial, anger, sadness, disorientation, frustration, uncertainty. A sense of loss. People have to accept that something is ending before they can begin to accept the new idea. If you don’t acknowledge the emotions that people are going through, you’ll likely encounter resistance throughout the entire change process. Stage 2: The Neutral Zone In this stage, people affected by the change are often confused, uncertain, and impatient. Depending on how well you’re managing the change, they may also experience a higher workload as they get used to new systems and new ways of working. Think of this phase as the bridge between the old and the new; in some ways, people will still be attached to the old, while they are also trying to adapt to the new. Here, people might...

Encourage change at work

Reactive organizations – and the people who work in them – are driven by circumstances and their environment. They are acted upon, rather than taking control and being in control. In a reactive organization, it should come as no surprise to find that people are constantly stressed and putting out fires instead of working together to blaze a path forward. There may be danger or opportunities ahead, but if no one no-one rises above the trees to see if the organisation is heading in the right direction, then you, your colleagues and  your organization will consistently be struggling to face them. What if you changed the way you approach your work so that you’re not constantly being acted upon, but, instead, driving the action? In Stephen Covey’s best selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he encourages people to become more proactive and less reactive. “Reactive people are driven by feelings, by circumstances, by conditions, by their environment. Proactive people are driven by values – carefully thought about, selected, and internalized values. Proactive people are still influenced by external stimuli, whether physical, social, or psychological. But their response to the stimuli, conscious or unconscious, is a value-based choice or response.” Being proactive enables people and organizations to not simply pick the best path, but to also be prepared for opportunities and obstacles along the way. When you make a conscious choice to be proactive at work, you look for ways to take the initiative, to come up with new ideas and new ways of doing things. An approach like this can ultimately save money, time, and resources;...

Strategies for managing yourself through change

People who deal naturally well with change tend to have some important common skills and abilities. What can you learn form them when it comes to your own change challenge? 1. Those who naturally deal well with change tend to have a high ambiguity threshold Our Tip: Change is inherently ambiguous, so deal creatively with change and have a high tolerance for uncertainty and ‘shades of grey’. 2. Those who deal with change often have a constructive internal dialogue Our Tip: See yourself as pro-active, with the ability to control elements of the situation in which you find yourself. Some circumstances cannot be changed, but the way you respond to them is always a choice. Use your sphere of influence, however small, and in doing so you will expand it. Focus on solutions. 3. Those who deal well with change have a high reserve of emotional, physical and mental energy Our Tip: Take care of yourself physically and mentally so that you too have reserves to draw from when things get tough.   Areas to improve your skills: Reflect on your own core values and your mission in life. A sense of purpose is essential to success and effectiveness, and you need a clear idea of what you are doing and why. Be persistent. Success is usually more to do with tenacity than genius. Persistence is only possible when you have clarified your values and successful people keep going, finding new and creative ways to achieve a positive outcome. Be flexible and creative. Persistence does not mean pushing through by force. If you are unable to achieve success one...

Work towards what you want

How compelling are your goals for yourself? Are they attractive enough to encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone? If you always focus on what could go wrong, you will find it difficult to motivate yourself sufficiently to find positive solutions. Think about what you actually want and what is important to you rather than what you don’t want. Back this up by having a sound plan and working towards what you want. 1. Know what you REALLY want and what achieving the goal will do for you. 2. Express this in positive language; want to have… rather than avoid having… 3. Be sure the goal is under your control or take steps to bring it under your control. 4. Check that it is worth what it takes to get there and assess the impact on others. 5. Look forward into the future and imagine you have already achieved it. 6. Look back from this future to the milestones along the way and see how you got there. 7. Formulate your practical and specific plan; who, what, where, when, how. 8. Assess your own commitment and if in doubt, adjust the goal, or other parameters, to increase your level of commitment to achieving it. 9. Step out and start by taking the first step as soon as you can, no matter how small this step may be. 10. Act “as if” it were already true to keep yourself motivated and to have the maximum impact. Creating a compelling vision is Tip 3 in The Training Box book and ebook 52 Brilliant Communication Tips by Maureen...

Break out of the box

A belief is something we hold to be true about ourselves and the world – it is not necessarily true. Many beliefs come from our childhood, often heavily influenced by significant figures in our lives – our parents, family members, perhaps our teachers at school. We also develop our own beliefs based on our experiences. If these experiences are not always positive, or if others influence us with their own negative beliefs, our perceptions about what is or is not possible may hold us back. If you want to take up a new challenge, positive and empowering beliefs are worth their weight in gold. When you are preparing to step out of your comfort zone, you may find yourself in need of re-examining or even changing a belief that has become limiting in order to break out of any boxes you find yourself in. Beliefs are notoriously difficult to change through typical rules of logic or rational thinking. The first step is to recognise the limiting belief and develop a new, more empowering one to take its place.  When you want to abandon or replace a limiting belief, use the power of your mind. Try the new belief on for size and behave AS IF you already believed it. Take a look at the examples below: Limiting Belief: I don’t have much chance of winning when I play tennis I don’t bother to exercise because there is not much point. I know what will happen. My opponent will play much better than me and I can imagine the outcome when I lose and I feel dejected. I feel unmotivated....

The comfort zone and beyond

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” Brian Tracy   Personal and professional growth do not always come knocking at your door – sometimes you have to go out and look for them. Staying where you are may feel comfortable, easy and even good. However, the downside of comfortable, easy and good is that they encourage behaviours that simply maintain the status quo and are unlikely to lead to change or anything new, different or better happening in your life. Staying where you are is an acquired or learned behaviour  that can be unlearned by overcoming the fears that hold you back and by developing your willingness to take action. Stepping out of your comfort zone can certainly be daunting and you may feel unsure about taking the leap. Following our tips will help to keep things in perspective. Examine your beliefs about change and find out what is holding you back. Beliefs are not set in concrete – they can be changed but you may have to work on them. Focus on times in your past where you have made a leap that turned out well or look for inspiration and encouragement in the examples of others. Keep the voice in your head positive and constructive – by all means, let it ask questions that help you prepare for the change but don’t let it hold you back. Develop a clear picture of where you want to go and what it will be like when you get there. Keep your energy...