Changing Your Thinking Isn’t Jumping Without a ChuteAugust 24, 2015 | By Wayne O'Neill
You spent a fortune on a coach to push you and your team through a mindset shift or a business process change.
The coach shares a methodology with you that will change everything about what you are doing.
It feels like base jumping. Right? Or worse – jumping without a chute.
Well, it shouldn’t, because the idea of changing everything you’re doing is going to backfire on you.
If you feel like you have to change 100% of what you’re doing to make a new methodology work, you’re not alone. But you also won’t end up actually making any change with that type of thinking. It’s too much anxiety, even for the calmest and most competent leaders and teams.
The two points I’m about to make might shock you if you know me or a coach like me. I push people to take risks and go outside their comfort zone. But listen up because this advice is going to ultimately make you more successful.
1. You have to ease into it.
Try to start off by changing 10% of what you’re doing. That leaves you with 90% familiar territory – doing what you’ve been doing. Then move toward changing your methodology by 20%, and leaving 80% as-is. And so on.
You still retain some familiar practices as you ease in. Not just because it’s more comfortable, but because then you can create the right mix.
What stops people from making meaningful change – change that actually impacts the business – is that base-jumping fear. They believe that once they start working on a new methodology, it’s now either/or. Either you are using the new methodology or you’re not.
I see this with our clients a lot, because they think “Well, we’re paying this coach. Why wouldn’t we just switch everything over to his way of thinking?”
This isn’t sustainable. It’s not a good way to reset and make a change.
2. You have to recognize that you will never change 100% of what you’re doing.
Ease into it. Then ease into it a little more.
But recognize that to be successful, you will never go farther than a 60-70% change.
If you can understand this up-front, it does a number on your head. It relaxes you. It allows you to make those 10%, 15% and 20% changes.
Conversely, if you think of a methodology change as an overhaul, it’s too overwhelming. It won’t work.
Think of it like a strict diet. If you think you can only eat blueberries and strawberries the rest of your life, that’s emotionally overwhelming. Even if an expert tells you it’s correct.
The Bottom Line
Contemplating giving up everything you have ever known will backfire on you. You won’t make the necessary changes because there’s too much anxiety involved. Instead, ease into the change. And remember that you will mix the new methodology with the old one for the right mix that works for your needs.
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