Saturday, April 8, 2017

Change: Handling the disruptions of everyday life!

It's funny how we tend to view change as an event. It's as if we draw a line in the sand and think that one event is what changes our life. We think that change is something that happens to us. The reality is that change is a process. It's how we respond to an event in our lives. Think about it, change tends to be reactionary. It's something we do because we have learned from an experience that has caused a shift in our reality. We realize that if we keep going down the same path NOTHING will happen. NOTHING can be scary for some and for others they embrace the STATUS QUO. NOTHING comes without cost or energy use. That makes it easy to fall victim to conformity.  CHANGE has a price. CHANGE makes you take a step into the unknown. CHANGE alters you so that once you go through it you become different because of it.

A big CHANGE in my current life is the addition of a newborn. We now have four kids under the age of 12 in our house and my wife and I must play zone defense. We are outnumbered. For most have 9 months to prepare for a baby we had 24 hours to prepare for Baby Boy. His entrance into this world is a miracle. What he went through was a battle for his life and he made it! Opening up our home to him was a given as we had adopted His 2yr old sister 6 months prior. This was a welcome CHANGE and for us handling it was a battle but one we openly accepted as a family. We had to change our approach to daily life. At times the most consistent part of our life is inconsistency.  

What do we do when CHANGE is needed? How does one go through the process without trying to resist AND detest it? One method I like to use and learned from my coursework was the CREATER MODEL. Yes….I actually learned from my classes. Thank you Morehead State EDD! I firmly believe this can be implemented in both professional and personal aspects of life.

Step 1:CARE- To go through change one must have an attitude of CARE. You develop a sense of concern and recognize a need to shift directions. Be intentional thoughts and feelings as you begin the process. If it's not in you it can't happen through you.

Step 2: RELATE- This is all about building relationships with all those involved. CHANGE does not happen in isolation. It has a ripple effect in both good or bad ways. It can spill over and impact the lives of those around you….your family….your team. Build relationships that matter. Especially with those that the change will impact the most.

Step 3: EXAMINE- Now we are getting down to the nitty gritty of CHANGE. The need has been identified for CHANGE to occur.  You must examine the needs and problems that are causing the CHANGE.  Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Understand that obstacles will arise but they are not meant to stop you.  Embrace them and learn from them.  

Step 4: ACQUIRE- CHANGE means developing new skills. What new skills or knowledge will you need to implement in your life to allow the change to happen? If you stay the same you will remain the same.

Step 5: TRY- maybe you don't like that word. Maybe to you it's either you do or don't. I like to think of Not Yet.  Implement the CHANGE and see what happens. It will take time and you will need to adjust along the way. Be adaptable and TRY it out. Remember there is not one right way and you may need to have multiple avenues to implement your change. It begins with one step!

Step 6:EXTEND- Don't be selfish. Take what you have learned along the way and share.  Seek others that may be in your place and help them out. Your CHANGE should now become an extension of you and part of your story. Life is about IMPACT. There is no better way to make an IMPACT than for others to see how CHANGE has been lived out in your own life. Teach them to TRUST the process.

Step 7: RENEW- Don’t think of this as a finalization process. It never really ends. At anytime you should be constantly questioning the process and it's ok to start fresh. Renew the process when you feel you need to. Renew your hope in yourself.  CHANGE should be a renewing process. It should add value...refresh...and strengthen!

Your turn to share….. What are your thoughts on CHANGE? What CHANGES have impacted your life the most and how did you respond?


For more in for check out:

Fullan, M. (2007). The new meaning of educational change. New York: Teachers College Press.