Often we want things to change… for the better. Paradoxically we often resist and do not want things to change beyond our control (for better or worse) and we may need to manage our relationship to change in a more effective way.
Creating change or adapting to change can often mean challenging limited ways of being and perceiving both professionally and personally as often the impulse is to maintain the status quo or homeostasis of ourselves or a system so that we feel more comfortable and in control. This reasoning presupposes why humans are predominantly creatures of habit who generally seek out the structure of the familiar. Fortunately or unfortunately change is an ongoing and inevitable part of all aspects of life. Despite all of our best attempts to control ourselves, others, or the environment, things inevitably change. How many people actually hang onto their youth, avoid death or accidents, stop progress, keep our children young, or avoid evolution and change in business for example? When things change and become unfamiliar often we and / or others around us can resist or struggle to adapt as confidence suffers, and we can become tentative or fearful of the unknown and unfamiliar.
All of us can be limited by our histories and experience. This can be both conscious and unconscious, being burned into our psyche as beliefs about who we are, what we are, what we are (or not) capable of, and how we are in relation to others and our world around us. This could also be a good description for our ego, and everyone’s ego can limit or serve them. The associated hard wiring of the brain could be described as the “structure of the brain” and it is this hard wiring that gives us a fixed sense of self and and how we perceive ourselves and the world.
Change (internal or external) requires us by necessity to develop new neural pathways as we learn to adapt and meet the challenges of change. When these new neural pathways are established over time by engaging with the process of change we develop a sense of having mastered the change and integrating its effect. At this point it begins to no longer feel like change, as change itself begins to seem familiar. Through the resultant positive “rewiring” of the brain we are introduced to embodied feelings of achievement, confidence, expansion, and greater capacity, and when these feelings are integrated with cognitive insights and awareness we have moved beyond the limitations of the once familiar… we have expanded and grown!
We could also apply the neuroscientific metaphor of rewiring the brain to business when we talk of introducing change in business and organisations. The associated “rewiring” and adaptations that may need to occur in leadership / management, operational systems, structures, and culture for example along with their interdependent nature and the impact of all these aspects on commercial effectiveness and profitability are not dissimilar to the systemic internal neuroscientific “re-organisation” challenges that individuals may encounter with change.
Managing change is often not as simple as it appears, remembering much of the impact of change can be unconscious or unknown. Many wishing to implement or manage the impact of change often engage a professionally qualified Coach to help expand and develop their ability to consciously embrace change and more effectively manage its effect. The success of the coaching partnership can very much depend on the knowledge and skill of the coach and the willingness of the client to engage in the supportive coaching process and be open to new possibilities, even if this can initially feel unfamiliar, challenging, or uncomfortable at times.
The ability of the coachee to self-reflect on their attitudes, beliefs, assumptions, and behaviour is also a crucial part of raising awareness… the precursor to any sustainable change and the doorway to the cultivation of greater self efficacy, flexibility, choice and responsiveness, not just compulsive or habitual ways of being.
This process of reflection and engaged, honest and open dialogue in the coaching space moves a coachee from a subjective to a more objective position allowing insightful realisations to occur. This can begin to dissolve attachment to a fixed sense of self and the insistence on the world and others around us having to be a particular way in order for us to perform well or be happy.
When these insights are integrated and actioned, improved more empowered capacity and positive experience can occur. With support and commitment this new found flexibility and potential for beneficial thought, action, and experience (and the resultant restructuring of the brain known as “neuroplasticity”) can lead to greatly improved levels of leadership, performance, flow, confidence, fulfilment, and wisdom in the coachee’s professional and personal life.
This provides the opportunity to attempt experiences and goals that may have previously seemed beyond the coachee’s abilities or usual comfort zone (i.e. familiar) as they begin to develop new capacities and attributes that may have been once perceived as “just not me” or “I can’t”.
If you would like to more effectively manage change and benefit from the powerful insights and experience of a coaching engagement, contact Michael Ryder from InsideOut Coaching and Consulting on (02) 49712285 or email firstname.lastname@example.org