Change…the only thing that’s constant!
At the Centre for NLP in Basel we get to train people all over Switzerland. Last week I was with a group of 12 leaders who were learning about their role as a leader. Leadership skills off you like. Now, if there’s one thing I know about being a leader is that you need to be flexible in your approach because if things aren’t changing now they will be next week. There is a presupposition in NLP that we teach and that’s the person or system with the most flexibility of behaviour will control the system.
Think about that for a little bit. Imagine a storm in full swing and as it does imagine you are watching the trees. The ones that survive to breath again after the storm has blown over will be those that can flex in the storm, bend without breaking. The same is true of your thinking. The more flexibility you can have the more likely you are to survive the change and adapt to the new regime.
With this in mind it was interesting to watch these 12 leaders in front of me struggle to change there behaviour, even frightened to make the change.
The invitation to change wasn’t that demanding really. All they were asked to do was to engage their network and extend it over the next 6 weeks. Ideally see if they could reach out to 10 new people and organise a lunch with them or just a 15 minute coffee. The point was to break the habit of being comfortable and to take control of their life in this small but significant way.
You would have thought I had invited them to run round the block naked such was the level of resistance to this simple invitation.
The thing is, changing a habit can be difficult. The more you do something the more you do it. This is why musicians can just get into their music and play. They have laid down the neural network to play by habit. A small change in the music can take quite a while to rewire the neural pathway ways. Neurones that fire to gather wire together, as the saying goes, and the more that happened the stronger the embedded behaviour. The same is true for breaking out of your comfort zone because, habitually you’ve remained safe and comfortable for a long time. Enjoying the comfort and safety inside it.
The someone offered a “reason” for the stagnation. You see they had tried to do this with one person before and it doesn’t work. The invitation isn’t accepted our is ignored. Well, if that’s thecae try a different way. They already had and reconfirmed their belief that it was not possible to invite this particular person to lunch. And here lies the challenge with beliefs.
When you find a reason for something not working you start to form the germ of a belief. I’ve tried this once before and it didn’t work. The, with a bigger push you try it again, with a slightly different approach perhaps and you fail again. This is starting a patter that you believe and bizarrely the more you do this thing and fail you change reconfirm your belief until it becomes un moveable and turns in to fact. Then you’re stuck.
Change is inevitable, it’s the only thing that’s constant and if you cannot change you will suffer, stagnate and blame others for your own inadequacies.
At the Centre for NLP in Basel whelp all our delegates in the Practitioner and Master Practitioner courses break through those beliefs which ar beholding you back and not supporting you. Many of them are based on patterns of behaviour that have been running for many many years.
Change though only takes minutes in some case, maybe a couple of hours, but change will happen.