I love March. It feels like a month full of positive potential and a great month to start
exploring the nature of Positive Change. There is so much thought provoking literature, research and exercises surrounding this topic, such as motivating goals, hope & optimism, mindsets, beliefs, motivation and appreciative inquiry, I’m looking forward to getting my head around making it useful to you! Yet, in my world of business training and coaching, it seems almost inescapable when discussions surrounding ‘change’ or ‘change management’ are underway, the Kubler-Ross Change Curve becomes the standard model, with such emotions as distress, distrust, anger, guilt, anxiety and hostility shown as necessary by-products of the process prior to acceptance. What is less understood is that this change curve is, in fact, the therapeutic Grief Cycle and there are many other productive ways of embarking on, and helping others embrace, the inevitable change we’re all facing.
Research suggests five factors enhance our ability to embrace change positively:
- Our Beliefs about change
- Our attitude and behaviour to setbacks;
- Our perspective about time;
- The questions we ask;
- The goals we choose.
Over the next 5 weeks, we’ll look at each of these areas in turn with the starting point of personal beliefs as they the backbone to positive change. What do you believe about change? When you hear the word, what images spring to mind? Whatever beliefs you hold about change will undoubtedly affect your behaviour and the ultimate outcome. According to Prochaska, architect of the Stages of Change model (see left) it appears that our ability to move from thinking about change to taking specific action is having more positive than negative beliefs about change.
So, this week think about a change you would like to make in your life and consider your beliefs about change. To help you, have a look at the two sets of statements below and on a scale of 1-5 (1 being not important, 5 being very important) decide how true these belief statements are for you:
- Changing takes a lot of time
- I’m concerned I might fail if I try to change
- I would have to give up some things I enjoy
- I get some benefits from my current behaviour
- Some people would be uncomfortable if I change
And next, consider the next 5 statements:
- Changing would make me feel better about myself
- I would be happier if I change
- Some people would be better off if I change
- I would worry less if I change
- I would function better if I change
Total up your scores for each section and if you have less than 9 points for the first section and more than 16 points for the second section, you are likely to progress smoothly from the ‘planning’ to the ‘action’ stage of change.
Next week – facing setbacks…