Sunday, October 13, 2013

Craving Change and Loathing Transition

Human beings don't like change.  Right?  Wrong, according to Patrick Lencioni, business consultant and author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.  According to Patrick, human beings crave change, but we don't like transitioning

After watching a video by Patrick Lencioni about transition management, based on Bill Bridges' work, I want to share what I've learned.  I really feel like knowing what the stages are in a transition, and what to expect at each stage, could highly transform how smoothly and victoriously we embrace change in our lives.  
I am not currently in transition to or from anything, but I know a lot of people who are.  They are in between jobs, have a child who is graduating from high school, preparing for a move, or adjusting to someone new living in their house.  Change, and necessary transition, come in as many forms as there are people. 

My hope is that if you are not in transition, this will prepare you for what's ahead.  And, if you are in transition, that this outline will bring a new perspective.  A new perspective that reinvigorates you and gives you hope, wherever you are in the process.


There are three stages to pass through when going from x to y:

1.  Endings - Saying goodbye to the old.
     a.  Loss
     b.  Response to loss
     c.  Ceremony
2.  Neutral zone - Not sure if the new way is better or if you're ever going to get there.
     a.  Need 2 Cs - Care and Concern
     b.  Need 4 Ps - Purpose, picture, plan, and part.
3.  New Beginnings - just happen.  Once here, you can't imagine life being any other way, and you wonder why it took so long to get here.


When we are in the "Endings" portion of transition, we are dealing with loss.  All change brings about loss.  Several people can experience the same event, but feel loss in different areas of their lives.  The different areas we can experience loss are:
1.  Structure
2.  Control
3.  Identity
4.  Future - How we thought it would play out.
5.  Meaning
6.  Attachments to people
7.  Turf

According to He Leadeth Me by Walter Ciscek and Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl, nervous breakdowns happen because people don't realize they have a choice of how to respond to loss.

There are four possible responses to loss (the 4 Rs):
1.  Restore what was lost. 
Examples:  Get lost job back, rebuild damaged house in same location, just as it was before).
2.  Replace what was lost with something similar. 
Examples:  Get a similar job or similar house in a similar neighborhood.  *This is what we usually do.
3.  Redesign.  Change the way we live.  Choose something new.
Examples:  Start your own business.  Live in a different environment. 
4.  Relinquish.  Give up an idea, plan, unrealistic goal, or pursuit. 
Example:  Give up the idea of being an Olympic runner.

Ceremony:  To end the "Endings" phase of transition, we need ceremony.  We need ceremony because when we don't let go of the past, we get stuck in it.  Ceremony is how we make sure the past is left behind. 
Examples:  When Cortez's ships finally landed, he burned them.  There was no going back!  We have a wedding ceremony to indicate to all (especially ourselves) that we are no longer single!  We need an external event to signify the internal change/shift. 

Neutral Zone

When we enter into the neutral zone, we experience the greatest anxiety, fear, growth, and innovation.  To maximize our productivity and progress, we need the 2 Cs (take care not to poo-poo these.  Bad things happen if we don't get them!): 
1.  Care
2.  Concern

If we don't get these 2 critical things during this time, one of three things will likely happen:
1.  We will go back to the "old".
2.  We will leave.  Opt out.
3.  We will quit and stay where we are. 

In addition to the 2 Cs, we also need the 4 Ps:
1.  Purpose:  Remember why we're going through this difficult time.
2.  Picture:  Where we are headed.  Why it's going to be better.  What it's going to look like when we get there.
3.  Plan:  Lay out a bare minimum plan.  Manageable chunks/steps to be taken to achieve goal.
4.  Part:  Play your part.  If in a team setting, make sure all who are involved have an active role in being a part of the solution.

New Beginnings - Celebrate!  You made it through the transition!

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the rain and for safekeeping through the storm last night.  Thank you for reminding us of Your power.  If fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, as the Scriptures say, increase my fear of You.  I would rather fear You too much, than underestimate You.  But really, I want to love You more than I fear You, which I do.  Thank you for opportunities to gather together with fellow believers, and learn more about the transitions that are inescapable in our lives.  Help us to resist the lie that transition "shouldn't be this hard", so that we can accept it for what it is, and keep moving forward.  Help us to remember that "This too, shall pass."  Please bless all of those who are in transition.  Especially those who are trying to say goodbye to something because it has been taken from them.  Amen.

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