Change Implementation Techniques for Laying a Foundation for New Ways

Technique 1.12 Your Readiness to Change

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Introduction

Reflect upon your performance at work and answer the following statements so that they most accurately describe your beliefs and behaviours as they actually are, rather than what you would like them to be or think they should be.

These statements will help identify your personal level of various qualities, eg resourcefulness, optimism, adventurousness, drive, adaptability, confidence, and tolerance for ambiguity.

Questionnaire

The answers are ranked from 1 to 6; with 1 being strongly disagree and 6 strongly agree

1. I prefer the familiar to the unknown

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

2. I rarely second‐guess myself

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

3. I "stick to my guns" no matter what

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

4. I cannot wait for the day to get started

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

5. I believe in not getting your hopes too high

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

6. If things are not going well, I'll find a way to make them work

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

7. I don't like dealing with issues that have no clear answers

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

8. I like to establish routines and stay with them

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

9. I can make any situation work for me

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

10. I get upset when something important doesn't work out

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

11. I am not good at relaxing and doing nothing

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

12. If something can go wrong, it generally will

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

13. I look in unusual places to find solutions

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

14. I get frustrated when I cannot get a grip on something

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

15. I am cautious in my acceptance of new ideas

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

 

16. I don't worry about meeting other people's expectations

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

17. Once my mind is made up, I don't change it readily

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

18. I push myself

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

19. My first impulse is to worry about what can go wrong

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

20. I make a little go a long way

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

21. When an issue is unclear, my impulse is to clarify it right away

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

22. I wait to see if something works before I try it

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

23. I focus more on my strengths than my weaknesses

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

24. It's hard to get satisfaction about something even if it is working well

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

 

25. I'm restless and full of energy

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

26. Things rarely work out the way you want them to

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

27. I've always been successful at living by my wits

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

28. I hate leaving things unfinished

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

29. I am drawn more to comfort than excitement

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

30. When I make a big mistake it does not concern me

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

31. I am uncomfortable in situations where the rules keep changing

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

32. No matter what the odds, I never give up

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

33. I'm more likely to see problems than opportunities

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

 

34. When looking for solution, I exhaust every possibility

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

35. I don't like situations with vague expectations and goals

1 ‐ strongly disagree

2

3

4

5

6 ‐ strongly agree

Scores and Comments on the Scores

This exercise will help to identify where your strengths are and where you need to make improvements. Note that the optimum range between 22 and 26.

For example,

"...Adventurers are great starters, resourceful people are excellent problem solvers, optimists make good cheerleaders, and their input is especially useful when people feel discouraged..."

Robert Kriegel et al, 1996

Resourcefulness

. Add up your scores on questions 6, 13, 20, 27, 34; this total is your resourcefulness score; the optimum range is between 22 and 26.

"...resourceful people are effective at making the most of any situation and utilizing whatever resources are available to develop plans and contingencies. They see more than one way to achieve the goal, and they're able to look in less obvious places to find help. They have a real talent for creating new ways to solve old problems......optimal scorers know that every problem has a solution. If anyone can find it, they will. They're very handy when it comes to discovering innovative ways to deal with change. Since there are so many unanticipated difficulties when you challenge the status quo, they add value every step of the way..."

Robert Kriegel et al, 1996

. High scores can indicate a tendency to overlook obvious solutions.

. Some ways to teach resourcefulness and to develop ingenuity include asking people to perform the following activities:

‐ describe 10 uncommon ways to utilize an ordinary object, such as a cup, clove of garlic, etc

‐ build a raft when lacking important items, ie this encourages improvisation

‐ imagine you are spending 2 days away from home with $5 in your pocket; how would you survive?

Remember: necessity is the mother of invention!!!

Optimism

. Add up your scores on questions 5, 12, 1 total from 35 9, 26, 33; subtract this total from 35 for your optimism score with the optimum range being between 22 and 26.

This characteristic involves looking at problems, obstacles, challenges, issues, etc in a positive light, ie seeing them as opportunities.

"...optimists tend to be more enthusiastic and positive about change. Their positive outlook is founded on an abiding faith in the future and the belief that things will work out for the best......optimists focus on positives; pessimists on negatives. Their attitudes of predetermined by want they happen to notice. And how they interpret what they see..."

Robert Kriegel et al, 1996

. A very high score can indicate a lack of critical thinking skills.

To encourage optimism need to teach how to seek out and focus on positive information and perspectives.

. Some activities to encourage this include

rose colored glasses (asking people to identify positives in typically negative experiences, such as losing your job, getting a new boss, changing departments, getting transferred to a new geographical location, the economic meltdown, the organisation's downsizing, etc)

positive flip (make a list of everything that is not working in your life. Now reframe it into a positive, such as "not making enough money" becomes "motivated to seek a better paying job"; "intolerable working conditions" becomes "will make the next job seem great", etc

twinning (link your self with several positive thinking people)

Adventurousness

. Add up your scores on questions 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; subtract this total from 35 for your adventurousnessscore; the optimum range is between 22 and 26.

"...two ingredients are found in this adventurous spirit: the inclination to take risks and the desire for the unknown, to walk the path less taken. Adventurous people love that challenge. They tend to be restless and shun the comfort zone. Routine bores them. They hate repetition and feel compelled to break out. They're always looking for new ways to do things. The adventurous people are great innovators and creators, pathfinders and scouts who go ahead......looking for opportunities and excitement..."

Robert Kriegel et al, 1996

. A very high score can indicate a tendency towards recklessness.

. Some ways to encourage adventureness include

create your own adventure (ask participants to think about a risky experience they have been avoiding and give them 24 hours to do it. When they return, a debrief around the following questions:

i) what happened?

ii) how did it feel?

iii) what was exciting about it?

iv) what got in the way?

v) what doubts and reservations surfaced?

‐ then ask people how they might be more adventurous at work and in their personal lives. Furthermore, what will be their next adventure?

. Most people realize that adventure is as much about attitude as it is about action. To become a better risk‐taker you need to practise. The more you risk, the more you realize that the catastrophic consequences you expect rarely happen.

. Some activities include

stating an unpopular opinion

acting contrary to all expectations

doing something you've been afraid to try

confronting somebody you're been afraid to face

introducing yourself to a perfect stranger

pointing out your strengths to someone who underestimates you

Drive

. Add up your scores on questions 4, 11, 18, 25, 32 to identify your drive score; the optimal range is between 22 and 26.

"...drive combines a physical energy and mental desire to create passion. It's the fuel that maximizes all the other traits. If you have drive, nothing is impossible. If you don't, change is, well...exhausting. Drive is the individual's level of personal dynamism. It shows up in a person's level of intensity and determination..."

Robert Kriegel et al, 1996

. A very high score on this characteristic, may mean you are obstinate, obsessed and heading for burnout.

"...think of yourself as an energy system. To keep running smoothly you need regular fueling, tuning, and conserving. The more attention you give these requirements, the more energy you'll have when the going toughens. Adequate sleep, proper nourishment, relaxation, exercise, abstinence from drugs, these are all elements in maintaining a dynamic energy system. And energy is a foundation on which drive is built..."

Robert Kriegel et al, 1996

Furthermore,

"...level of drive is probably affected by psychological factors such as desire, aspiration and fear......there is a direct connection between excitement and energy level, between the mind and the body. When we're passionate about something, fatigue magically lifts. Drive depends on how much passion you feel for what you're doing and how well you maintain your energy system..."

Robert Kriegel et al, 1996

Too much drive can result in bull‐headedness and burn‐outs

. To build passion, some useful activities include

passion index (rank the projects you are involved with from 1 to 10, with 10 representing the highest level of drive. Ideally a project should rate in excess of 7. Without excitement for a task, people only go through the motions.

raising the mark (how can you make projects more challenging, more creative, more meaningful, etc)

dream machine (as passion is built on dreams, use your imagination)

sentence completion (using your imagination, finish the following

i) if I had unlimited wealth, i would...

ii) if education and training were not an issue, I would...

iii) if I had all the time in the world, I would...

iv) if I started out differently, I would have...

v) if everything worked perfectly for the next 5 ears, I would...

vi) I've always wanted to...

vii) If I didn't have all these bills to pay, I would...

mental movies (imagine you about watching a video reviewing the situation in 5 years from today. This is describing the ideal situation in which all your goals have been reached and your wishes have come true. You are living your dream!

Adaptability

. Add your scores on questions 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; subtract this total from 35 for your adaptability score; the optimal range is between 22 and 26.

"...adaptability includes two elements: flexibility and resilience. Flexibility involves ease of shifting expectations......if the situation changes, their expectations shift right along with it. They adjust to the new circumstances with quickness and ease, so they rarely feel disappointed or let down......resilience is the capacity to rebound from adversity quickly with a minimum of trauma......resilient people are nimble and fast on their feet. They're not weighed down by the status quo or stuck living in the past ..."

Robert Kriegel et al, 1996

. A very high score can indicate a lack of commitment or stick‐to‐it‐ness.

. To encourage adaptability (flexibility and resilience), some activities include

changing the rules ( eg get two teams to play a game such as volleyball and continually change the rules, eg keep the ball in play as long as possible without either team scoring, makes it a requirement that every team member has to hit the ball before sending it over the net, etc. Furthermore, change the composition of the teams.

breaking habits (habits are the enemy of adaptability; the more inclined you are to accept rigid patters of behaviour, the more difficult it will be to remain adaptable. Some suggestions for breaking habits included

i) drive to work a different way

ii) serve dinner for breakfast

iii) wear your watch on your other wrist

iv) sleep on the other side of the bed

v) change the way you write your name

vi) eat with your other hand

put yourself "in the shoes of others" (describe something that you are passionate about. Then look at it from another's point of view that is the opposite from yours.)

what do X and Y have in common (look at 2 things that seem unrelated and find ways to connect them, eg telephone and hat ‐ you can talk through both, etc)

use riddles to think outside the box, ie break down assumptions and paradigms that govern the way we think (some examples

i) what gets wetter the more it dries

ii) what's a reward for waiting

iii) what can you put inside a barrel to make it lighter

iv) in what place does Thursday precede Wednesday

v) what eats but never swallows

(answers: a towel, a tip, holes, the dictionary, rust)

Confidence

. Add your score on questions 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 to determine your confidence; the optimal range is between 22 and 26.

"...confidence is a belief in your own ability to handle it. This is situational confidence..."

Robert Kriegel et al, 1996

Is involves self‐confidence, self‐esteem and being "unafraid of failure"; it involves learning from failure.

"...There is a direct correlation between levels of confidence and receptivity to change. If people feel confident in their ability to handle the new task, they'll be more receptive to it and more positive about it..."

Robert Kriegel et al, 1996

. High scores can indicate a know‐it‐all attitude, close‐minded and lacking of receptivity to feedback.

. Confidence involves more than the acceptance that change is good. It involves people believing that they have the expertise to handle the change. Some ways to encourage this attitude include

refocus attention (concentrate on what you can do rather than what you cannot, ie focus on one step at a time

build on strengths (emphasizing strengths builds self‐esteem and encourages people to improve; focusing on people's weaknesses saps confidence.

remember past successes (bringing past success with change situations into the present is a way of building confidence. This is more than positive thinking as it involves focusing on past successes, ie if you have been successful in the past, you can repeat it as there will always be familiar aspects and transferable skills. This can be done by recording past successes for future reference. In other words, accentuate the positives and eliminate the negatives)

positive framing (frame feedback, including problems and mistakes, in a positive way so that confidence is improved and communicate what needs to be changed)

learning from mistakes (everyone makes mistakes, so it is important to respond in a positive way. Un‐acknowledged errors or blame can create a climate in which self‐doubt, loss of the esteem and embarrassments ie accentuated, which often undermining connectivity and builds resistance.

reviewing, rethinking and rehearsing (this involves reviewing what happened, rethinking new responses, and rehearsing them)

Tolerance of ambiguity

. Add up your scores on questions 7, 14, 21, 28, 35; subtract this total from 35 for your score on tolerance of ambiguity; the optimum range is between 22 and 26.

"...the one certainty surrounding change is that its spawns uncertainty. No matter how carefully the plan is, there is always an element of indefiniteness or ambiguity......when things are vague, influx, or unclear.....people who are uncomfortable with ambiguity get impatient and irritable......they tend to feel anxious and uncomfortable when things are uncertain or unpredictable......it's the lack of control that people find hard to tolerate..."

Robert Kriegel et al, 1996

. On the other hand, high scores can show too much tolerance and indicate people who may have an inability to finish tasks and/or make decisions.

. Some activities to help develop greater levels of ambiguity tolerance include

taking control (make 2 lists in which you write down everything in your control and then factors that are uncontrollable. Can factors be switched from uncontrollable to controllable? Concentrate on factors that you can influence and develop risk management strategies for the uncontrollables. Letting go (sometimes you can find greater effectiveness by letting go, ie paradoxically

"...letting go of control gives you more control..."

Robert Kriegel et al, 1996 (source: Robert Kriegel et al, 1996)

 

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