Dec
04
2013

Amplifying useful change

It can be a fruitful strategy to look for those moments where a problem is actually not or less present. Technically speaking: those moments where people are already and have been higher on the scale towards their goal. Subsequently, the client (a coachee, a team, two people engaged in conflict,…) can become more aware of moments where things are working better, even just briefly. Even just a jiffy. This awareness and the skilled questionning technique of a facilitator or practitioner, can lead to more options for a client to progress.

Building on that, a problem dealing with human interaction and emotions is never fully present 100% of the time, 24 hours on 24. You can not be angry, joyful, sad,…the whole day in the same way to the same extent. There are impredictable fluctuations in emotions and interactions and many, subtle shades of grey between white and black – or between blue and shocking pink.

Be cautious when you hear consultants preach that change in your organisation should or will be following a steady pattern. If you are involved in change (and you are, change is happening all the time / my mission is to amplify useful change), you should raise a question when you hear someone predicting that ‘people impacted by this change (a restructuring, merger, onboarding a  new CEO,…) sooner or later will go through these and those phases until they accept the decision’.

Simply imagine someone congratulating someone for just having become the parent of a newborn baby, a major change in people’s lives: Congratulations, you will be going through these and those fases of joy with your baby in the coming months!’  People experience different levels of change resilience, people definitely skip ‘predefined’ stages in change and find out their own serendipitous micro change patterns.

That’s why I’m particularly doubtful to copy paste models like Kübler-Ross’ change curve to corporate settings – if these categorising models are working successfully in their original settings in the first place.

Life is not so scripted. We all have our own, idiosyncratic, fluctuating rythm to respond to or to create change. Perhaps in your eco-system there even might be a ‘change addict’, someone happily embracing change for change’s sake…

A progress focused practitioner will take a detailed look at those moments when useful client change has taken place already. That doesn’t mean that he/she will behave like some positive guru denying the moments where things are worse. A progress focused conversation will also be about moments where clients were ‘higher on the scale’, including experiencing positive exceptions to problems.

Attitude adjustment