All Progress Begins With Change
All meaningful coaching assignments require change. The Mastering Change program presents a Pattern Language to make change easier. Coaches at all levels will enjoy using these patterns in their work. This program was created by change agent and Master Coach Lea Belair and uses material from her book “Walking on Water”.
Each of the 10 one-hour sessions cover a new distinction in change:
- Distinction #1 Conquering Fear vs. Walking on Water
- Distinction #2 Revolutionary vs. Evolutionary
- Distinction #3 Belief vs. Knowledge
- Distinction #4 Rush vs. Overwhelm
- Distinction #5 Approval vs. Evidence
- Distinction #6 Expectations vs. Standards
- Distinction #7 Stress Management vs. Stress Elimination
- Distinction #8 Change as Chaos vs. Change as Opportunity
- Distinction #9 Growth vs. Development
- Distinction #10 Being Present vs. Presence
Distinction #1 Conquering Fear vs. Walking on Water
Conquering fear means you have a battle with fear and you win. Conquering fear is better than being defeated by fear, but it takes a lot of energy to wage the battle. What if instead you shifted your perspective from the dualistic view of me vs. the fear, and jumped into another paradigm? Let us call this paradigm: I am the source of all emotions, including fear. The paradigm shift means you are no longer having a relationship with fear. That is what walking on water is all about: taking action from a new perspective that seems magical when seen through the lens of the old perspective. Focus on the future you want, not the fear that is keeping you from getting there.
Distinction #2 Revolutionary vs. Evolutionary
As agents of change we seek to make change easier. When people see change as a revolution they naturally recoil and see this characterization as a threat to the stability and equilibrium of the system. If instead, we promote and champion change as evolutionary - a step-by-step process that uses what “is” as the basis for something new, it’s easier to embrace change as a natural progression. We can be more effective in the future if we also honor the past.
Distinction #3 Belief vs. Knowledge
Beliefs (opinions and convictions not in the religious sense) are based on emotions, thought patterns, conditioning, and assumptions. Knowledge is based on information and direct experience. Where we stand in relation to both belief and knowledge defines how we deal with one of the greatest barriers to mastering change and unfolding our true potential: doubt. If our beliefs do not match our experience, we are in conflict; if our beliefs hold us back from integrating the information we are getting from our environment, we are stuck. There is hope! We can listen to and act on the knowledge available to us in each moment and become participants in the field of knowledge, where we are not separate from the world. Shifting our orientation to knowledge-based discovery, insight, and commitment overcomes doubt.
Distinction #4 Rush vs. Overwhelm
As change becomes the norm, with no safe ports of “no change” where we ride can out the storm, we must go from a model of “survival” to a new orientation: “thriving in change”. Effective strategies are to upgrade our energy sources, to find and use systems to maximize our energy output, and to look at energy differently by making new distinctions. Key in making the shift is recognizing how rush and overwhelm are linked - the cause and result of rush is overwhelm. When we think there is a difference we try to rush to keep up with the overwhelm. If you notice you are rushing, remember you are already in overwhelm! Rushing doesn’t make the overwhelm go away; it feeds the overwhelm. Once we break this cycle we can move beyond our traditional comfort zone and establish a new standard of success in change.
Distinction #5 Approval vs. Evidence
Success amidst change means that we are able to learn from our actions and environment, make experiments, and take new actions that are united with our purpose and intention. Seeking approval â“ defining ourselves in relation to the various opinions of others (whether those opinions are shared, founded or unfounded), means we are looking outside of what we know for validation and permission. This stifles real learning and the ability to take new actions. Evidence: “an observation that can be agreed upon and verified in concert with others”, is a way to perceive and act holistically based on learning and self-actualization.
Distinction #6 Expectations vs. Standards
With expectations, we naturally focus on a definite idea of how things “should” be and the anticipated results that fall out from that. This orientation captures our attention and ties results to assumptions and preconceptions. Standards are founded on integrity to our values, and tweaked by what we learn by continually interacting with our environment. This orientation puts us in the center of the change equation, not at the mercy of it â“ and makes change easier.
Distinction #7 Stress Management vs. Stress Elimination
For most of us, change means stress â“ emotional strain and tension. For decades we have been told and taught how to manage stress. Yet, even with new ways of managing stress, we still find change stressful and suffer from its effects. How we perceive life and use our energy determines whether we have to manage stress, or can resolve it. It is not a thing that causes stress, it is our life view. Stress no longer has power over us if we stop resisting what is and learn to align and evolve when faced with change.
Distinction #8 Change as Chaos vs. Change as Opportunity
Chaos is a description we use to describe instability, confusion, and disorder - and the isolation that results. It’s what happens when the round peg does not fit into the square hole. We experience change as chaos when our reference point is rooted in the past and we try to make sense of the new or unwieldy accordingly. By shifting our reference point to the present, we become open to the opportunity for something new to happen and open the doors to unexpected learning.
Distinction #9 Growth vs. Development
Growth means increase and expansion: Quantity. Development means improvement: Quality. When something grows, the resources needed to sustain it must also increase. Depending on the limits on our time, money, and resources we can choose to enhance and refine instead of adding. Increasing brings complexity and risk. Enhancing builds on natural next steps and sustainable evolution results.
Distinction #10 Being Present vs. Presence
Being present means being aware and available in the moment. Presence is the underlying foundation for the organizing pattern being present. To master change, being present is a necessary component to having the focus and attention which helps us to recognize what is, get to the source, and take effective action. The state of presence is the center point, the unchanging reality of our meaning and purpose that naturally brings forth being present. You can be present without mastering presence, but it comes and goes. When you master presence being present is a byproduct.