The world is changing rapidly and radically. Some like the change while others hate it. Still others deny it while the pivotal leader welcomes it.
What is your attitude about change?
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The world changes every day. Like it or not, believe it is good or bad, but every day the world changes in some way every day. The challenge we have as leaders is to deal with that change. As we will discuss in this post, the action we take will reveal our attitude about change. At the same time, we can change our attitude to become pivotal agents of change.
Attitude about Change
Attitude has two critical elements: beliefs and values. Beliefs are what we hold to be true. For example, we all believe the sun rises in the east each morning. Whether we see it or not, we know the sun rises each morning. Technically, we know the earth is rotating and not the sun but our belief holds. When we go to bed at night, we know the sun will rise over the horizon welcoming a new day.
We often base our beliefs based on scientific evidence, personal experience, tradition, or personal opinion.
What do you believe about change?
Do you believe change is generally good?
Or do you believe change is harmful and should be avoided?
A value is something that we consider so significant that we build our lives upon it. We value hard work because we have seen how it makes life better. The same can be said for accountability, flexibility, and personal initiative. Some value comfort over hard work, favoring enjoyment over potential results.
How much do you value change?
Comfort is good but do you value change enough to make your life uncomfortable?
Are the opportunities you envision worth the effort to change your attitude and behavior?
Values are revealed by your behavior, not just your language.
Stages of Change
This post taps the research by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente on health-related behavior change (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983). They detailed a model to assess an individual’s readiness to act in order to eliminate a problem behavior. Their Stages of Change Model is widely accepted and gives us a valuable insight into becoming pivotal leaders.
As you read this post, focus on three perspectives.
1. Identify which stage represents your attitude about a general sense of change.
2. Identify the stage that best represents your attitude about a specific change you are facing.
3. Identify the stage that best represents your potential customer’s or your team member’s attitude about change.
Note: For ease of reading and understanding, I’ve changed the names of each stage to spell out P.I.V.O.T.
P- Play Dumb
The first stage of change, and the worst attitude about change is denying the need for change. or simply not being aware of change. In many ways, this is a euphoric stage where we are oblivious to any consequences from not changes. We ignore the trends and don’t think about the opportunities of the future.
Listen to your language and you will hear yourself say the following phrases.
“I don’t see how life can get any better than this.”
“It’s not going to get that bad. They are making too much out of it.”
“Why should we change?”
“We’ve never done it that way before.”
“Let’s just continue on with the plan we have.”
Many don’t see a need for change, in part because they don’t want to make the effort to leave their comfortable status quo. Part of the denial is a stubbornness to realize change can be good. Some villainize change. They purposely don’t track the trends because they believe nothing can be better than what they have right now. When honest, many times they (we) deny change because we are afraid of what will happen.
Other times people are simply unaware because they are so busy working in the moment to pay the bills. It is easy to become unaware, oblivious to the consequences and the opportunities, when we sequester ourselves from reality. Become aware of the potential.
Sometimes, as we have seen recently, change becomes political. They deny the facts in favor of reinforcing their opinions. “It isn’t happening.’ “They are lying.” “I don’t care what the facts say, I feel better when I . . ..”
Change is the freight train coming through the tunnel. It’s not stopping or slowing down because of your opinion.
Note: I’m not claiming that every new idea is good and should be adopted. Instead, my goal is to help you identify your attitude about change and recognize the consequences if you fail to change that attitude.
As leaders in real estate, sales, and business, we deal with deniers or the unaware every day. We can help educate the unaware but are wise to avoid the deniers. Don’t spend your energy trying to convince them. There are far better opportunities.
“Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.”
Confucius, Chinese Philosopher
I – Intention
The second stage of change is thinking about changing but not yet committed. We like the idea but aren’t quite ready to commit to the change.
Listen to your language, and theirs. If you hear any of the following, you are hearing this stage.
“I like the idea, but . . .”
“The thing you have to understand is, . . .”
“What does __________ think about this?”
“I need to research this further.”
“I’m just not ready to make a decision.”
Intention is much better than denial or being unaware. With intention, there is a positive approach to change but not the commitment.
When you find yourself, potential customer, or team member in the Intention stage, ask the following questions.
“What do you/I need to make the commitment?”
“What consequences will happen if you/I don’t take the action now?”
“What benefits will you/I receive if we commit right now?”
“Indecision may or may not be my problem.”
The third stage of change is the preparation stage, where we become ready to make a change. I like the label “visualize” because it engages the mind to focus on the future. At this stage, we don’t just dream, we focused intently, churning through the possibilities and the plans to seize a particular opportunity. Visualizing, in this sense, is preparing your mind to make the change.
Listen to the language of visualization.
“I can see it.”
“To make this happen, we need to ______________.”
“This will be fun/good/productive.”
Notice there is a pivot in the language. You are not looking back, but to the future. At this point, you know you can’t return to the past and don’t want to. Instead, you have turned and are emotionally ready to take the leap into the future.
Ask yourself the following questions when in this stage of change.
“What am I seeing?”
“What do I need to do to make this dream a reality?
“Where do I begin?”
“Who do I need to help me?”
“How soon can I start?”
When we are in this stage, we are strategically planning for our future. We are committed and ready to take the action.
I visualize things in my mind before I have to do them. It’s like having a mental workshop.
Jack Youngblood, NFL Hall of Fame Player
The fourth stage of change is to act. This is where you put the plan from the visualization stage into action. In many ways, this requires the least amount of explanation. Like Nike’s slogan, “Just Do It!” The time for thinking is done, now is the time to take the necessary action.
Language heard in this stage is:
“Let’s do it.”
It’s all about execution. Taking exactly the right action at the perfect time to the standard expected.
Notice that procrastination is a failure to act. Procrastinating delays action based on a fear.
Ask yourself the following questions in this stage of change.
“What action is needed?”
“Why am I not doing it right now?”
“What am I afraid of?”
Quit thinking. Quit feeling. Take the necessary action at the appropriate time.
“The path to success is to take massive, determined action.”
T – Tailor
The fifth and final stage of change is maintenance or, adapting. I prefer the word “tailor” not only because it spells out “pivot” but because it requires personalization. Change requires adapting to the specific individual or situation. It is personal and even intimate. As we take the action, we must monitor our actions to the specific opportunity in front of us. We also must fine-tune our actions to perfect the subsequent results. That requires assessing our action, performing the necessary maintenance to perfect our process.
Notice the continual pivot in that tailoring adaptation. Tailoring creates a habit of being pivotal. To pivot is good but to continually tailor our approach to change is even better. That creates an attitude of anticipating the need for change, visualizing the potential and then taking the action.
In sales or leadership, we must always be looking to adapt to the individual, market, and conditions. While some things may stay the same, we cannot expect the same old, comfortable position. Instead, we must be on our toes, alert to nuances that will bring us that audacious level of success.
Tailoring your language to develop a pivotal attitude.
“What can I do to perfect my performance?”
“How can I be more efficient?”
“How can I increase my results?”
“Where can I expand my reach?”
“Who else can I help?”
“In fast moving fields like cancer, where doctors tailor treatments based on evidence that’s constantly evolving, two years can be an eternity of waiting to learn about important science. For some patients, that interval can be fatal.”
THINK BIGGER: Embrace the benefits of continual change.
REACH HIGHER! Make the commitment and design your plan.
DO THE IMPOSSIBLE: Continually dare to do what others won’t, can’t, or simply don’t. That will set you into elite results.
Loren Murfield, PhD
Total Career Growth works with leaders and entrepreneurs in small business, sales, and Real Estate to think bigger and reach higher to find their breakthrough success. Contact me to begin thinking bigger.
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