Take responsibility for change
To make things change, we have a lot more leeway than we think. How can we take responsibility for creating the changes we want to see implemented?
In professional life, the reasons for frustration abound. Who has never felt trapped by a rigidified system? Who has never complained about colleagues’ behavior, the impossibility to change things, or the extent of changes required for real progress to happen? A natural reflex is to adopt a fatalistic, passive, or even defeatist attitude. After all, why even bother trying if everything seems to indicate that nothing will come of it? That’s why, out of ten smokers who say they want to quit smoking, seven have actually never tried, while an average of six attempts is generally needed to quit for good! It’s also why many managers give up on the idea of encouraging their subordinates to take more initiative, convinced that it would do no good.
In fact, observation of successful change shows that adopting a different attitude is often the key to success. We actually have much more wiggle room than we imagine; it’s up to us to take advantage of it! “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” said Gandhi. It is amazing to note that merely deciding to play an active role in change can be sufficient to make it happen.
Three recommendations are helpful in this regard:
- Pace yourself. Change is truly successful only if it is maintained over time. You are better off focusing on small actions that have an impact and saving your energy than exhausting yourself trying to do too much.
- Watch out for reflexes connected to the environment. A simple modification of the situation in which you’re operating can have a major impact in facilitating change.
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Using pedagogy to promote change
Leading the various stakeholders to evolve their view of the situation: an essential lever to achieve major changes.
Adapting to unsolicited change
We are subjected to change more often than we trigger it, which can cause a significant psychological burden. What process can we adopt to handle the feeling of loss that inevitably accompanies change?
How can we block negative stimuli and reinforce positive stimuli in order to change our behavior successfully?
The Art of PossibililityRosamund Stone Zander, Benjamin Zander
Based on their personal experiences, the authors, a family therapist and an orchestra conductor, demonstrate how a creative and positive attitude can facilitate change.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleStephen Covey
A global best-seller on good habits to adopt to surmount personal and professional challenges.
The ChecklistAtul Gawande
The considerable impact of introducing checklists in intensive care units in the U.S.