We’ve been taking a journey though Robert E. Quinn’s book Deep Change and we are meandering through Chapter 4. Remember that the big picture of this journey is the desire to support organizational changes. The beginning of organizational change is personal change. So by focusing on personal change first, you will have greater success in your desires to implement organizational changes.
“Because there is much at stake, we must engage and resolve the problems before us. To do this successfully, we must surrender our present self- we must step outside our old paradigms. This venture outside of our current self will cause us to think differently. To continue our journey is to reinvent the self. It is then that our paradigms change and we experience an ‘expansion of consciousness’. We begin to realign ourselves with our surrounding environment” (Quinn, 1996, p. 45).
In order to experience newness, we must be consciously aware of how we think about the world around us. To keep us in that constant state of intense awareness, I recommend getting proficient with self-communication. That’s the communication that we have between me, myself and I. This communication should take the form of self-questioning.
This type of questioning is NOT to be confused with self-doubt. You are not questioning your decisions; you are questioning how you came to make those decisions and why you feel that is the right decision. It is by answering those questions, that you may find that the decision you made could have been made differently and then self doubt comes into the picture. But let’s change our lens a little bit, is it really self doubt that we are feeling when we go through this process- or is it humility?
Through this process of personal change, you are not developing a sense of insecurity with yourself and your decisions. You are actually become more self aware and humble with who you are and your level of importance in the grand scheme of things. This is the beginning of personal growth. This is exactly the thresh hold that you want to be standing on! But it all starts by asking the deep questions that push you to brink of making deep changes in yourself and your organization.
So as you go about your day, deliberately talk with yourself about what you are thinking and why you are thinking certain thoughts. Here are some of the questions that I have asked myself just in the last few hours today:
- Who can I reach out to in order to help me solve this problem?
- Who have I not connected with recently that I think would appreciate a warm hello?
- What impact will this decision have on the long term success of this business?
- Are there any other ways of getting this done? What have I not thought about?
- What can I do differently to heal that relationship?
- I don’t think this matters, but who might this matter to?
Just by asking myself these questions, it is causing me to stop and think about what I am doing, why I am doing it and what impact it will have on the people around me. Pausing is good to do because it helps us to get all of our energy aligned in the right direction.
What questions should you be asking yourself to help you to reach that thresh hold of personal change. Organizational change is a long way off if you are not willing to start making personal changes.