Embracing Change: emerging from doorway
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Embracing Change Videos from Roger Reece

Below is a selection of clips on learning to accept and respond to change, taken from recent workshops and training programs from Roger Reece Seminars. Roger presents a wealth of material in his programs, but always in a personable, down-to-earth style that emphasizes the real-world application of concepts with a variety of concrete strategies and techniques to effectively manage change for yourself, and to help those around you to do the same.

Our Youtube channel has dozens more videos to choose from; you'll find selections there showcasing nearly the full range of our training and presentation topics.

 


Helping Teams During Change
Whenever your team is weathering a change together, it is important to remember that different people experience the change in different ways. Even if a new development is not a hard adjustment for you, don't assume it should be just as easy for your teammates to adjust. Step back and take the time to relate to what they're going through. If we can be understanding, and just listen and tune in, we have the chance to be a genuine help to someone else on the team, letting them adjust to the change in less time and with less anxiety than they could without your help.

Personal Challenges During Change
There's a first time for everything. Major life changes - the kind that call upon us to master unfamiliar skills or that fundamentally up-end our normal routines - can seem impossible to weather when the enormity of the tasks ahead looms on the horizon. But when these moments come, and we have no choice but to challenge ourselves, we are often surprised by how well we are able to manage. These moments of unwelcome change we are forced into can become times of great self-discovery, when we find a person inside ourselves that is stronger, more capable and more resilient than we ever thought we could be.

Reframing and Embracing Change
Reconciling change, in the past and in the future: We have all been through times of difficult, unwelcome or unexpected change. So often, these experiences feel overwhelmingly negative at the time; but later prove to have a positive effect on our lives, in ways we may never have expected. Learning to reconcile these traumatic upheavals - gaining the perspective to see positive outcomes leading from trials, upsets and disappointments - is essential to peace of mind and to avoid or overcome depression. We can see this course of events more clearly over the passage of time; but we can begin the process of accepting change well before we get the benefit of hindsight. We only need to practice the skill of having faith: of trusting that there will be something of value to us at the other end of a transition.

Think back to a particularly trying or difficult time in your past. Imagine that you could now travel back in time, with all the lessons you've learned and the wisdom you've gained at the present, to comfort your past self in those most anxious and uncertain moments. What do you think you would tell yourself? So now imagine a third, 'future' you: the version of yourself who has crossed all the hurdles you are facing at present; who is years removed from any of the things that are causing you conflict or stress right now. What would that person want to say to you?

Agents of Change
We are all potential agents of change. There is nothing wrong with challenging the way we do things. We just need to know the right way to do so. Organizations get settled into habits, just as individuals do. It can be extremely valuable to get a new perspective. The effect of a new person with a fresh outlook, who can view processes objectively, without being accustomed to a particular way of doing things, who can question what doesn't seem to be working most efficiently, can radically transform the productivity of an individual or team. But we don't get that benefit if the person won't speak up - or, if the person does speak up, if the rest of us won't listen.

It takes courage to question established processes, to persist in the face of inertia. If we are the ones trying to be agents of change, we should keep in mind that what we are doing builds courage, and courage is a skill worth developing. Most of all, we should certainly not be discouraging anyone trying to bring positive change to us!

Change and Your Brain
Change affects your internal 'reality maps'. We never see the world as it actually is. Each of us constructs a map in our head: an interpretation of the world from our point of view, informed by our senses - and at least as much so by our assumptions and expectations. But the map is not the territory: our mental models are not objective reality. We have thinking patterns, habits and triggers haphazardly programmed into us by family, by the environment we live in and by the people around us. Many of these 'programs' do not accurately reflect our values or our principles. But if we don't ever challenge the negative voice in our heads - if we identify with what that voice is saying about the world - we risk eventually becoming that person.

Day by day, moment by moment, the way you frame your view of a situation - the details you include in your picture of events - affects your state and your mood, as well as your map of the world, in a very real way. And that in turn has an effect on how you will frame and react to what's next. If you aren't paying attention to these functions happening, it doesn't change the fact that they're going on just the same (and still reinforcing the same well-worn habits as ever). But it's your brain and it's your voice - you have a right to decide what goes on in there! You always a say in the programs and habits you keep stored in your brain, and what is no longer relevant to the person you want to be.

Managing Your Reactions to Change
Align yourself with What Is. Getting yourself from a negative reaction to a positive response in the face of change is sometimes a very difficult thing. And helping someone else to make that transition can be just as difficult. But learning that skill is important work, because getting stuck in a reaction can make people very, very unhappy. A reaction is an emotional response from the part of our brain responsible for the survival instinct. But that part of the brain does a very poor job of distinguishing between genuine threats - real, impending danger to life and well-being - and things that may just be threats to our expectations or to our sense of self. These instantaneous reactions to abstract, lesser threats are what we experience as the sinking feeling of disappointment.

A good way to look at disappointment is a difficulty in reconciling What Is, against the imaginary, parallel world we can create in our minds of What Should Be. What Should Be is a projection, and it has its place: any time we plan, we begin to form expectations of the future. But when What Is - which is the reality of what is happening, right now, in this moment - contradicts what we think should be going on now, holding on to What Should Be is a crutch. It is a trap - and the longer we dwell on the gulf between reality and expectations, the deeper into disappointment we fall.

As-If Reframing
The 'As-If Reframe' ("everything is exactly as it should be") is an extremely powerful and effective technique for managing stressful and turbulent events. It involves making the conscious decision to view situations you're in as if everything is okay. This doesn't mean ignoring or distorting what you see - but the As-If Reframe does target all the many assumptions we draw from incomplete details. Choosing to frame a situation as if everything is exactly as it should be means working backwards from a conclusion - the belief that you will survive and thrive through this transition, that the person you are in conflict with has good intentions at heart, that there is something very valuable to come even when plans fall completely apart - and directing your behavior accordingly. Because what you're focused on changing is your ideas about things you could never be sure of in any case - you don't know what another person is thinking, you don't know what the future will bring - the As-If Reframe helps you to sidestep a lot of the unproductive worry and anxiety that take energy away from solving problems and achieving your goals. It almost certainly influences the behavior of the people around you as well.

 

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