Put on your CAPE and fly to change

Flying cat

To become the person or the team you want to be, one way forward is to use the     Wheel of Change (Marshall Goldsmith, US Executive Coach and Author). This is so simple I am surprised at how easy it is to use for my clients in coaching and for their teams at work.  I am using Goldsmith’s ‘Wheel of Change’ and adapting it by adding an acronym – this will encourage you to think of the 4 elements and try each one on when you are faced with a change and more critically, when you want to make a lasting change in your life or the life of your team. Start by asking these questions:

C            –    what can I/we create (add, invent, improve, build upon, renew, rework…)

A           –    what can I/we accept delay, make peace with, move on from…)

P            –    what can I/we preserve (maintain, keep, retain, replicate, learn from…)

E            –    what can I/we eliminate (irradicate, restrain, reduce, avoid, let go, stop….)

EXAMPLES: for change to happen it is absolutely not necessary to cover each element, for example A – by accepting the situation as it is because it is out of our control to change it, can be, all on its own, a very powerful way to implement change i.e., just think of all the energy you will save and the relief you will feel when you move on after acceptance!  Another good example is E elimination – have you ever thought of getting out of a relationship because it has become toxic for you or avoiding the situations where you know temptation is too much for you to resist e.g., meeting up in a bar when you know you will overdrink alcohol?  The following examples use each element of the Wheel of Change, however, to reiterate, one or two of them all on their own will often be just as powerful.

Be present and attentive when I am at home

C       Create – turn off the phone before I enter the house at the end of the day and agree
with a colleague at work how to make contact in a true emergency

A       Accept  – this will take a lot of time and effort to do as I feel/think/believe it is a key
part of my job to be always contactable by senior management and clients

P        Preserve – check my phone once in the evening only, and spend no more than
15 mins dedicated time to this

E        Eliminate – avoid the phone by locking it away so that it takes effort to get to it

Improve interpersonal communication on the team

C          Create – set up daily 15 minute informal team-time for chats, catching up etc…

A          Accept – the habit of using email and instant messaging is difficult to break and                   will take a lot of time, willpower and effort to change

P           Preserve – keep the monthly team meetings and 6-weekly one-on-one meetings
with the Team Leader

E           Eliminate – avoid electronic forms of communication for interpersonal                                messages: hold off on using email for 24 hours and try face-to-face/telephone                      first

Marshall Goldsmith often talks about the necessity to engage with a Coach (and it does not have to be a professional Coach, can be a Mentor, Work Buddy, Friend, Relative) to help ensure you get from planning to taking action.  If you think you would benefit from a Professional Coach, then maybe we can work together to support you in living the life you always wanted, both inside and outside of work.

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