Organizations and teams follow predictable patterns of behaviour because they are made up of people acting out a story. And stories have a pattern. Here is a pattern I have noticed. See if you recognize it…
During a mastery class focussed on how to help organizations (people, workplaces, families, communities) transform, the idea dawned that transformation, or changing from who we are to who we will become next, creates instability in us and around us. It identifies an unknown. It activates inner fears about our capacity to “survive” a change. As a result we build walls around our hearts with our words and our actions, for the simplest reason: to protect ourselves. This is survival mode. This is self-preservation.
As your organization keeps changing with new deliverables, new pressures, tight timelines and conflicts, each person’s initial internal reaction is one of fear. How does that impact the energy needed to transform and grow and keep up with the pace of change? It slows things down, doesn’t it?
Now what if you could recognize fears as they occur, and learn how to address them in yourself and others? Wouldn’t that free up a lot of energy? We could experience more ease as we grow.
Here is how to recognize and transform fears that prevent growth:
Listen for words that imply:
- “I don’t have enough.” (I don’t have enough time, money, people, support, energy, etc.)
- “I am not good enough or important enough.” (We never get what others get. They don’t care about me/us. I can never do things right. We need to become relevant. I could never approach that person.)
- “I am not liked enough.” (They never include/consult me. We work in silos. We don’t work well together. We are not credible in their eyes. They won’t do that for me.)
Look for behaviours that arise from fear, like: avoidance, high tension, reluctance to share, overcompensating, recurring questions, crying, pleading, defensiveness, anger.
What else do you see?
Reflect on what you heard and saw. What might be creating this fear? Is there a trend/pattern of occurrence/reaction? How does recognizing these fears help you understand people’s language, motivations, behaviours and outcomes? What do you understand now about the impact of fear?
Develop connection and safety through curious and empathic dialogue. Help people name their fear and create options to get unstuck from the trap of fear.
Here’s a poster you can print and follow to support your leadership conversations:
Here are 7 great questions to create movement, when someone is stuck in fear:
- In 10 words or less, what are you most concerned about?
- How are you feeling about what you just expressed? (NOTE: There should be an emoticon that matches their feeling.)
- When was the first time you experienced this feeling about this situation?
- When does this feeling normally come up for you?
- What value is important to you that is not being honoured in these situations?
- What is one thing you can do that will help you honour this value?
- What are you willing to do right now that will make a difference for you?
Note: The idea of having a conversation to help someone move past their fear might evoke a level of fear in you: “I’m not sure I can connect in that way.” “There is never enough time for this.” “We should leave our emotions at the door.”
Take a moment now to describe your own initial internal reaction about helping someone work through their fears:
When I think about doing ______X__________I feel _________Y_______________.
Who do you have a trusting relationship with to discuss and move past your own fears?
Please know that we are here for a conversation and to help you create options and movement.
When you help people break through fears, you help them get unstuck and get back into action. They free up energy and feel so good as they recreate stability in their inner world and in the world around them…
…because organizations don’t transform, people do.
Organizations and teams follow predictable patterns of behaviour, especially during change/transformation, because they are made up of people acting out a story. And stories have a pattern. I hope part of your leadership and life journey is to understand patterns of behaviour and how to rewrite the script…
With peace and ease…
If you’re a leader wanting to align with your values, transform your culture, reach new levels of comfort and confidence and truly make a difference, join our Ultimate Leadership Experience on November 28-29 and December 6, 2018.
Please contact us to discuss how we can help you expand your leadership capacity in a healthy, inspiring way.
You can also click on the poster below to learn more about how the Ultimate Leadership Experience might meet your leadership needs and see all the dates available.