From Difficult to Different: The Impact of Self Talk
Do you catch yourself calling change ‘difficult’? It is difficult of course, complex even. Nothing wrong with that stance. But when you sit down and have a conversation with yourself on what makes it difficult, you will find it coming down to the themes of – not having done this before, not enjoying the feeling of newness or uncertainty and not knowing what the future holds and in how many ways it will impact you or the people around you. We undergo coaching and training to prepare ourselves for leading change, for formulating change and for executing change, while changing ourselves. The first and foremost thing which needs action while preparing for change is the mindset that accompanies our readiness for change. As long as this mindset is in the ‘difficult’ domain, change is something we will resist or fear. The minute, we change it to bring it to the ‘different’ domain, change is something we can begin grappling with. Beginning from this stance, we can look for:
- What stays constant when everything else changes. If the team size or location or business strategy changes, what stays same? Is it the capability, the team spirit, the faith in leadership? Finding what stays same can help build your anchor around change.
- In which ways is it different. Everything different need not be difficult or bad. It can be a good different or a new different. Ask yourself, ‘What possibilities will emerge because of this difference?’
- What do I need to do differently to cope with the difference? Identify the building blocks needed to cross the bridge from where you are to where you need to be. The new normal will be created by a new skill set and a new you. Work towards that skill set to gain greater control of the different environment.
- What am I communicating to my self with the difficult word. When the situation or circumstance is considered difficult, it automatically signals the brain that the present resources are insufficient. In a state of famine, one is less giving and wants to conserve. This conservation can be in the form of emotion (less motivation or enthusiasm to give), in the form of time (being unavailable and unapproachable) and in the form of communication (keeping information to oneself) which can create a negative workplace culture, give rise to rumours and insecurities.
- How to move from self preservation to self creation. When we are in difficult times, the urgent need is to protect oneself by usually sticking to the known. This can be counterproductive in times of change and not allowing oneself the confidence and calibre to try something new, try something ‘different’. It is important to create something new, build a new relationship or a new skill to be able to venture into the unknown.
Do you have experiences to share on how you coped with change? Sharing your story can help you appreciate your own journey as well as inspire another around you! Write to us to share at email@example.com
Director of Leadership & Learning, Senior Consultant
PhD (Clinical Psychology), MA(Psychology)