Sunday, October 30, 2011

Becoming a Chameleon: Change? Wha?

How do I react to change? Well, the easiest way for me to talk about it was to create the following graphic:

Smileys from IconTexto

At the 12 o'clock position is contentedness. That's usually where I start. Something changes in my life, and I'm usually ok with it at the outset. I usually stay at 12 o'clock for minor changes: changes to software on my computer, changes to websites I use, changes to the locations of things I buy at the supermarket. I normally go with the flow. No point in getting all in a tizzy over it.

Major changes, well that's a different story. Especially in recent years. I can run all the way around the circle, and most recently, I've noticed that it's very easy for me to get stuck at the angry face. "Why should I adapt?" I say. "Why can't everyone else change for me?" And this is not just being grumpy, this is full rage. And it's not pretty.

I've been working hard not to get stuck at the angry face. I've actually been trying to change the angry face to more of an annoyed one, and then trying to make sure I don't stay there too long, either. Nobody likes hanging around a grump.

A recent change I experienced had me on this cycle again, and I've stopped myself at the slightly sickly green face. Change comes all the time, and rather than getting sick with worry over it, I've been trying to come up with strategies to deal with it: one thing at a time, one project at a time, one goal at a time, one night's sleep at a time. And rather than keeping my worry all bottled up inside of me, it's been good to have the chance to get my thoughts out to supportive friends, ones who know how to move me forward, rather than let me get to the angry face.

Interestingly, this is getting easier. I suppose that's what increasing my adaptability means.

So, the next task? Well, to paraphrase from my work manual:
Look for opportunities to discuss topics which may have differing points of view. Resist expressing your point of view immediately. Instead, ask more questions to understand what others are thinking. Try to focus on the underlying reasoning and supporting evidence for other points of view. Resist the temptation to try to convince others to change to your point of view.
Ok, here I go...

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