Posts Tagged ‘Change’

I am fascinated by how the concept of ‘good enough’ relates to being organized and our many attempts to be what we perceive as ‘well organized’.  What does being organized mean to you?  Most likely not the same as it does to your spouse, your best friend or your children.  What if, instead of constantly striving to be more organized, better organized or even, heaven forbid, perfectly organized we strove for (more…)


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It’s been an interesting few days to say the least.  I travelled to Cornerbrook, Newfoundland on Wednesday to facilitate a workshop on ‘Time Management and Organization for Small Business’ at the NLOWE conference.  And, wow, was I in great company with 5 other workshop facilitators and 2 keynote speakers (Barb Stegemann and Cheryl Cran).  Not to mention the amazing women in Newfoundland who work for NLOWE and who run their own businesses. (more…)

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Last weekend I attended a retreat with a business group I belong to.  We were very fortunate to have a session facilitated by Jol Hunter from Grant Thornton. (more…)

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I think I’m in ‘like’ with my new Blackberry Style but not yet in ‘love’ with it.  Wow, do I have a whole new understanding for what many of my clients have gone through over the last few years as we switch from a paper planner to these wonderful electronic devices.  I am suffering from ‘paper calendar withdrawal’ symptoms – who knew it would be so difficult. (more…)

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How we help our clients change was a hot topic at the dining table today.  I spent several hours with five good friends and fellow coaches, consultants and trainers this afternoon and the topic of how we each work with our clients, our methods, and our beliefs around how we may or may not succeed in helping them change was certainly a well debated one.

This has me thinking about a fascinating tool I discovered in a book entitled “It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys” by Marilyn Paul.  She has created a ‘Seven-Step Change Cycle’ specifically related to organizing.

Here are the 7 steps:

  1. Establish Your Purpose
  2. Create Your Vision
  3. Take Stock of Current Reality
  4. Choose Support
  5. Design Systems & Solutions
  6. Take Effective Action
  7. Go Deeper to Keep Going

When I discovered this map, I realized that all of these steps are exactly what I do when working with a client.  It occurs to me that you can certainly understand the cycle and how it could help guide you through any organizing project.  However, I still wonder if answering  questions like:

  • “What will I see”
  • “What organizing systems will work for me?”
  • “What are the specific steps I plan to take . . .?”
  • “How can I change my thinking?” 

is difficult when you are completely overwhelmed by mental or physical clutter.  I believe that having the support of a professional organizer and/or a coach is one of the key components in building a support team to help you achieve long term change.  That person should be a good fit for your personality, have the credentials and experience to work with you effectively,  and be able to support you in a positive way while holding you accountable  for your actions and choices.

One thing we all agreed on is that before any individual or organization hires anyone in a consulting or coaching role they have to be willing and ready for change.  Allowing individuals to flourish within a changing environment requires trust and the freedom to make choices that are best for both the individual and the organization.

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I’m so excited this week because I get to share the final one of the four webinars I attended on Your Brain at Work with Dr. David Rock.  This one was my favourite.  Anyone who knows me knows that I’m all about action.  How do I implement what I’ve just learned?  How do I change myself and help my clients change as well?

One way to achieve change is to focus your attention.  Quantum physics tells us that you change the nature of physical reality through attention.  If you think about anything regularly you can re-wire your brain circuits. So, I think we had better watch out what we think about and put our attention on, don’t you?

Dr. Rock spent some time in this session focusing on Mindfulness.  Just thinking about it is making me more mindful – ha!  Anyway, developing the skill of mindfulness (or paying attention) requires us to do 3 things:

  1. Pay attention to incoming information
  2. In the present moment
  3. In an open and accepting way

Now, there’s this nasty tendency our brain has to intefere with our ability to be mindful by turning on the narrative circuity.  You know what I’m talking about – that little voice that says, “You are crazy, you can’t do that!” and so on.  The key to paying attention is to learn to turn down the narrative and focus on the incoming information right now in this moment.  In this way we can become better at switching attention and choosing what to focus on.  The idea, the way I understand it anyway, is to use your power to veto the thought you don’t want as soon as you notice it and get back on the right train of thought.

The final key to facilitating change in ourselves and others is to create a feeling of safety.  We can do this by focusing on where we are going, not what we are avoiding or where we’ve been.  We need to be careful to minimize status threats, we need to create certainty, we need to give people choices and help them connect.  In the end, by asking ourselves and others the right questions we can move away from focusing on the problem and move toward the solution and a new reality. 

Here’s the reason I’ve been blogging about this for the last 4 weeks – Dr. Rock says that if I focus my attention on what I’ve learned by speaking about it, thinking about it and writing about it, I will create new circuits in my brain.  Say what?  Just kidding!  Hope it’s been as much fun for you as it has for me.  I’m off to put some of these concepts into practice with my clients.  Wish me luck!

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