Outsmarting Resistance to Change – Part 2

By Paul R. Scheele Ph.D. | Transform

Everything we desire to change—all the problems, issues, and challenges before us—exist today as the unintended consequence of our current approach to solving problems.

Problems exist because of how we attempt to solve them.

Without shifting how we go about solving our problems, we can only create more of the same.

Part 2: Guardian of the Open Mind

For example, if the only way to read a book means slogging through, one word at a time, from the beginning to end, then our approach for keeping up with reading dooms us to always falling behind. We could say our reading strategy, as good as it may have been to get us through grade school, has become dysfunctional in the age of information overload.

But what if you could PhotoRead at 25,000 words a minute? Would that be a change worth exploring?

When I first developed the PhotoReading® Whole Mind System, it was in response to a request by the Information Systems Data Processing Department at IDS/American Express in Minneapolis. The course was so successful there that we began introducing it to other organizations. 3M Corporation brought me in to do a pilot program and a dozen managers attended.

The analysis of results at 3M showed stunning improvement for everyone involved, but the program went nowhere. The reason, according to the in-house leadership development sponsor, was that it was too “far out” to talk about with anyone who had not attended the program.

Ten years later, one of the original 3M attendees was promoted to director of a major division of the company. Under his leadership, everyone in the division attended the PhotoReading® program.

One leader, a person with an open mind who could consider a solution beyond the mental model that created the problem, made the difference. He invited others to confront their limitations and fears, and try something they never thought possible.

As leaders we must confront the natural fears we all face.

One of the 3 biggest fears is that we are insufficient, unworthy, or unable to face a challenge.

When we are called to a big new opportunity we must confront the question, “Do we have what it takes to succeed?” Within every person is a knowing system that organizes our reality and prevents unfamiliar ideas from entering our mental model of possibility. Think of this system as one of our 3 Guardians of Change—the Guardian of the open mind.

This guardian spontaneously pulls us back if we get too close to the edge of our comfort zone. When an outrageous possibility shows up that we’ve never considered as a choice, what also shows up is a feeling of doubt and fear of failure. That’s the Guardian.

To facilitate change within our ourselves and our organizations, we must get over the hurdle of the natural response to feeling the fear of insufficiency.

Confronting the Guardian of the of Open Mind is necessary to effectively change our results.

Here is a starting place for encountering the first of our 3 Guardians of Change. This process of “dynamic steering” helps leaders effectively facilitate change.

  1. Recognize that we now have an opportunity to chart a new course to the emerging future.
  2. Acknowledge the pain, grief, and effort we’ve endured to get as far as we’ve come.
  3. Appreciate the successes we’ve accomplished and our strengths as learners
  4. Allow ourselves be enter the “beginner’s mind,” to not know exactly how we will succeed going forward. Allow ourselves to discover and learn as we go.
  5. Consider one small next step we can now take to make a change for the better.

Let’s Collaborate: If you have used any of the above steps with your teams, share the effect you experienced.

In the next 2 blog posts, we will examine next two guardians that comprise our built-in resistance to change.

PhotoReading is a registered trademark owned by Learning Strategies Corporation, Dr. Paul Scheele’s publisher.

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