The winds of change are building...reshaping business, government, educational institutions, not for profit groups, civic and professional groups, the military and all of our personal lives. Some people dig in their heels and try to resist change. Others ride the winds of change and seize the amazing opportunities it brings. Use these ten habits to recognize and maximize the gifts of change.
1. Accept the Certainty of Uncertainty.
Change scares a lot of people. Facing the unknown rattles our nerves and undermines confidence. Yet, our rapidly world if filled with ambiguity, shifting priorities, different expectations, unanswered questions, and new responsibilities. People with a high need for closure and structure find it especially difficult. The ability to cope with uncertainty and ambiguity are critical skills for success in our New World.
2. Become A Quick Change Artist.
Hundreds of thousands of years ago, this planet was inhabited by powerful dinosaurs. Then, something happened and in a very short time the great beasts perished. While scientists don't agree about what exactly happened, they do agree that whatever it was the dinosaurs simply could not adapt to the change. There are plenty of human dinosaurs out there today saying..."Don't rock the boat"...."why change what's working?....and "That's not the way we've always done it." Resistance to change is a dead-end street. Change requires that we abandon the status quo, overcome our additions to comfort zones, and adapt quickly to new situations and ways of doing things.
3. Stay In School.
The most effective way to cope with change and find the opportunities it offers is to NEVER STOP LEARNING. We are the sum of what we read, hear and experience...the thousands of bits of information we pick up from many sources. Successful lifelong learners make it a point to learn something New everyday, to gain ideas from everyplace they go and everyone they meet. A great way to do this is to commit to the 30/10 RULE. Commit 30 minutes per day to actively seeking new information and then take an additional 10 minutes to decide how to apply this new information to your life. COACHU resources make the 30/10 Rule easy!
4. Open Your Mind and Unhook Your Personal Prejudices.
A prejudice is a judgment or opinion reached before the facts are known or maintained long after the facts have changed. Prejudices severely limit our ability to respond to change. Prejudices stifle our creativity and innovation. Seek out diversity. Read books and magazines about subjects you have never been interested in before. Seek out new friends and acquaintances of different cultures, ages, and thinking styles and learn from them.
5. Become A Trend Watcher and New Idea Collector.
Opportunities abound in trends and change. Look at magazines, newspapers, the Net, and other sources for themes that show up on a regular basis. Pay special attention to feature sections in publications like USA Today and Entrepreneur Magazine. Start an Idea File.
6. Be Sure To Open All Your Gifts and Look For More.
It is so much fun to open gifts...especially ones we didn't know we were getting. We all have many gifts we have never fully used. Talents, abilities, and potential we have never exercised and developed. High achievers in a changing world use all their gifts and constantly seek new ones. For every gift you open, there are many more waiting to be discovered and used.
7. Cultivate and Maintain a Strong Resource Network.
Your Team 100, Circle of Ten or a Personal Advisory Board are all part of your resource network. Become a Master Networker. Your network is a gold mine of resources and support. Remember networking is a reciprocal process. It is about getting and giving.
8. Develop a Reputation as FIXER...not a Finger Pointer.
Every business, every organization, every community and even our own families need people who are willing to take care of problems, not merely point them out. People who are objective and willing to explore many options and solutions, rather than automatically opposing anything that even smells like change, become very valuable. Make it a rule never to complain without offering solutions along with your problem.
9. Lighten Up! Optimism is Contagious.
The benefits of optimism and a sense of humor cannot be overestimated in a climate of change and chaos. Negativity and its by-product, stress, cloud judgment and interfere with objectivity. On the other hand, a well-developed sense of humor increases optimism and helps us prevent blowing things out of proportion. We must consider how many other people take their cues from us. Do you lead others optimistically into change or do you somehow lead them into resistance? Optimism is contagious...spread it every chance you get.
10. STOP WAITING!
Many people can make an entire lifetime out of getting ready to do something...laying the groundwork...making plans...waiting until the time is "right." Change doesn't wait and in today's competitive world, waiting is a luxury we can no longer afford. We need to develop a sense of urgency ...coupled with action. The best insurance policy for tomorrow is the best use of today. CARPE DIEM!
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