I recall delivering a workshop 2 years ago where we touched on the amount of change that is happening in our current environment. A man from the audience asked me “Hasn’t change always been around, Amy?”.
Yes, change has always been around however the size and extent of the change has increased dramatically due to the amazing technology that we have today. The majority of change in the past might have been a small change to the step in a process and major changes were the minority.
Some of our most common fears are ‘fear of the unknown’ and ‘fear of loss of control’.
Change challenges both of these fears as we take ourselves out of our comfort zone, learn new ways of doing things and at times, rewire our brain relating to our actions, emotional drivers and outcomes.
The most effective way to implement change or to support others going through change, is to leverage our E.I. skills to understand what each person’s emotional driver is and at what stage of the mindset disrupt process they are at. Change is only effective when people buy in to the change and own it in their subconscious mind.
The mindset disrupt process is made up of 5 parts: Own It, Face It, Feel It, Ask It and Drive It. These also happen to be the 5 factors of E.I. When any change or unexpected circumstance occurs, our mind moves through these 5 parts with the speed differing for each person. Some people can move through the parts in a matter of hours where others might take months or may struggle to ever make it to part 5. Others might find themselves being pulled back to earlier parts due to self-doubt or a new occurrence.
Let’s focus on the 3 steps to implementing change that helps us to own it in our subconscious mind.
Our minds crave information. When we sense change is coming or happening, we start to look for answers. The less information or answers that we have, the higher the chance of an emotional hijack. When our mind doesn’t have enough information we react with our emotions rather than our logical mind. It also makes up any information it requires which tends to be the worst case scenario. The more information we receive the more our logical mind gets involved and our emotional reaction can be guided by the logical mind.
Everything we do is for how it will make us feel. As adults, we should ask ‘Why?’ more often. The analysis that happens in our logical mind is going to want to know ‘Why?’ If the ‘why’ this change is occurring is not clear or logical, it will again default to an emotional rather than logical reaction. We are also driven by what we stand to gain and what we stand to lose based on the change. Talking through both of these angles is important. There must be something we stand to gain in order to create an emotional driver. The downside is the elephant in the room and should always be called out rather than swept under the carpet. It’s about weighing them both up and showing that the gain outweighs the loses. If this is not the case, then we should be questioning why the change is occurring.
We can get so caught up in the process and all of the twists and turns it takes throughout creating change that the original purpose becomes lost. The purpose should be the first thing written down and should be referred to at every step of the way: “Will this still achieve our purpose?”. The purpose is also the main communication to everyone involved. The process is simply the vehicle to achieving the purpose. When it becomes more about the process than the purpose, we have lost our way and others will find it very hard to align and own the change without a strong purpose.
Change will always be here and it will continue to grow and challenge the way our mind works. If we, or others, are finding it difficult to accept any change, there is a disconnect between the change and our emotional drivers.
Hit pause and realign the purpose, the ‘why’ and communicate through information.