We live in a world where we’re always navigating change on one level or another. Our capacities and abilities to navigate change vary dramatically from one person to another. When facing change, our instinctive responses could be to run and hide or rise to the challenge. We may experience feelings of vulnerability, empowerment, isolation, or relational connection.
The way we understand how we navigate change is a multilayered process. It’s always evolving and being informed by many other factors. It can be hard to unpack those factors and layers when reflecting, growing, and improving the various instances of change we face regularly.
When working to help clients successfully navigate change, we start by asking them to reflect on an experience from their own lives – when they have successfully navigated a change experience. From there, we use a tool we’ve created to establish consistency in reflecting on various experiences of change.
Today on the podcast, we walk you through our “Change Pyramid” tool, which can guide you through a recent change experience and then use that knowledge to navigate your next life change. This is part of our multi-episode series walking through our team engagement process, simulating a client engagement while providing tools and examples to help your team thrive. Enjoy!
The Change Pyramid
The change pyramid looks like this:
TRIGGER | RESPONSE
SAFETY | SIGNIFICANCE | SECURITY
CLARITY | CERTAINTY | CONSISTENCY | CONNECTION
But to unpack each of these words, keep reading!
Layer 1 – Change
Change can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. There could be five different layers for you to consider when thinking about “change.”
- Personal change – physical, emotional, spirutally, etc.
- Family change – marriage, divorice, kids, aging parents, etc.
- Relational changes – new friends, old friends, social interactions, etc.
- Social changes – moving or relocating, attending different social gatherings or community functions, faith circles, etc.
- Professional change – any sort of change with your vocation.
While you complete the change pyramid activity, pick one of those areas and ask how it applies to this word pyramid. Listen to the full episode to get content about how to do this.
Layer 2 – Trigger | Response
When we are faced with the threat of change, we have a neurological response. Either we’re going to be triggered, which causes a reaction, or we’re going to quickly respond to the change as it’s coming. A trigger is something we can see coming, and a response is what we are going to do.
Layer 3 – Safety | Significance | Security
We call this the layer of THREAT. Here’s how we are using each term.
By SAFETY, we’re talking about emotional or psychological safety. Some sort of vulnerability you’re feeling brought on by this change. In some way, you don’t feel safe because you feel a great degree of risk, and so you feel like if you do engage in change on any level, you don’t feel like you are safe
SECURITY has to do with financial security, family security, future security, job security, etc. Whatever you feel is being threatened if this change happens. You feel threatened because it might take away your sense of security in that thing.
By SIGNIFICANCE we mean your personal meaning. Sometimes the magnitude or even the smallness of change may really threaten who you believe you are. Sometimes significance is a change of measurement or a change of responsibility. You might feel like, “Hey, I don’t matter anymore. How am I going to matter? How am I going to show up once this is over?” If we feel that our personal significance is being threatened, some of us may opt-out of the change altogether.
Layer 4 – Clarity | Certainty | Consistency | Connection
This is the layer of NEED: when change happens, we ask what will you need to successfully navigate the change? Do you need clarity, consistency, certainty, or connection?
By CLARITY we mean that you may just need a very clear vision. Or maybe you need to hear about the change experience from one specific person. Some may need the details. Some may need constant communication to provide that clarity either way. Clarity is what you’re looking for.
By CERTAINTY, we’re talking about a sure thing. Some people will only navigate change once they’re certain that their role is going to be there, that their job is certain that this team is not going to change or their family will be cared for in the same way.
By CONSISTENCY we’re talking about timing. What’s the timeframe for this change? When’s the start, stop, middle, etc. When someone identifies that they need consistency during the change process, it could also mean that the communication is always coming from the same person, or a consistent approach to change.
By CONNECTION we’re talking about a connection to people, a connection to team members, a community, or other sources. Some people need a connection to one of those things, or to the actual tools or the products that they’re working with for them to feel like they can navigate change successfully.
How Do You Navigate Change?
As you listen to this episode and go through the pyramid on your own, think about your trigger and response. Think about what your greatest threat is when facing change. And then, think about what you need to navigate change successfully. Share your answer in the comments, on social media, or with your friends, colleagues.
Change is inevitable. It happens all the time to all of us. It can sharpen us and challenge us to be better people. How do you think and feel about change and what it means? Pay attention to the different tensions around change situations in your life. How do you respond to them? How do you show up? And what can you learn? We’d love to hear from you! Connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Leadership Vision Podcast
The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents. Subscribe to the Leadership Vision Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Please contact us if you have ANY questions about anything you heard in this episode or if you’d like to talk to us about helping your team understand the power of Strengths.
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