Step into the New Year with Clarity, Confidence, and Courage
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Everything changes, and yet the more things change, the more things stay the same. The changes forced upon us in 2020 have helped to reveal our true nature—the default set point of who we are and what we’re made of.
For some, we’ve stepped back from the challenge, believing that it’s up to others to fix what’s broken; while others have stepped up to the challenge, choosing instead to take responsibility for our experience of the circumstances and steer them to our favor. And yet others are somewhere in the middle, doing the best they can to use their circumstances to their advantage, while at the same time hoping that things will somehow get better.
Whatever camp you may be in, what follows is a list of questions I developed over a period of ten years researching change management and helping clients initiate and manage positive change for their personal, team, and organizational growth. These can be used whether you have initiated the change yourself, or if the change has been forced upon you and you’re ready to step up and manage it to the best of your ability.
These are the same questions I ask all of my new clients in order to uncover a recommended course of action—whether that might include learning interventions such as virtual professional development workshops or online courses; a provision of resources or a support system such as one-on-one coaching or mentoring; or perhaps something else, such as incentives or accountability measures.
As you work through this list, take special note of the questions that especially hit home for you:
1. The Mission Question: What’s your role?
This question might literally refer to your job title if you’re coming at it from the perspective of working as part of an organization or a team, however, if you’re coming at it more from a personal perspective it might refer to your “life’s mission.” In other words, what is the specific overall result that you’re looking to achieve?
2. The Desire Question: What do you want to do?
This question addresses how you intend to achieve the result you’re looking for. In other words, it’s what you decide to do as an expression of who you are and the role you serve.
3. The Value Question: Why is this important?
This question addresses what moves you to take action, and an important distinction is the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. When you're extrinsically motivated, you only engage in an activity because of the pleasure you receive or pain that you avoid as a result of the activity. Think of this like someone who has a job just because of the paycheck they receive. Yet, when you're intrinsically motivated, you gladly engage in the activity regardless of the reward. You do it because the activity itself is a source of joy. Think of this as someone who loves their job and would do it even if they weren’t paid for it. Identifying your motivation will help you to gain clarity on why your desire is important to you—and if that motivation is intrinsic rather than merely extrinsic, all the better!
4. The Ability Question: What can you do?
This question helps you to focus on what you can do rather than on what you can’t do, which is an encouraging mindset to be in when initiating and managing changes. Yet this question can also highlight a gap in these areas, which is still an encouraging place to be because having a clear understanding of this gap can help you to fill in your to do list of what new knowledge, skills, resources, support, or opportunities you need to seek next.
5. The Responsibility Question: What must you do?
This is a valuable question to consider because if you have any conflicting responsibilities then this is an indication that further changes need to take place. Either the desired result needs to be adjusted to make room for your responsibilities, or your responsibilities need to be adjusted to make room for the desired results. In other words, saying “Yes” to one thing is the same as saying “No” to everything else that you could be doing with that allotted time. The responsibility question helps you to be clear on the constraints that you’re working with, highlighting areas where negotiations may need to take place in order to achieve the desired results.
6. The Commitment Question: What will you do?
Intentions have little value if you can’t commit to them, so asking the commitment question is important to ensure that you’ll make time for implementing the plans you’ve set for yourself, your team, or your organization. A big part of this concerns attitude. A negative attitude fights to commit, while a positive attitude will never quit.
7. The Requirement Question: What do you need?
Ultimately, no one will change until they hurt enough that they want to change, learn enough that they know how to change, and receive enough that they are able to change. And it’s this last point that highlights the requirement question. What do you need in order to be successful in achieving your desired results? This harkens back to the ability question: Maybe you need certain knowledge, skills, resources, support, or opportunities? Or maybe you need something else? Make a list of everything you need and then do what you have to in order to get them.
Everything changes, and yet the more things change, the more things stay the same. The changes forced upon us in 2020 have helped to reveal our true nature, of who we are and what we’re made of. Whether you’ve spent the past year stepping back or stepping up to the challenge, the start of a new year is often when motivation is at an all-time high for initiating positive changes. To help you manage these changes and achieve your desired results, engage in the seven change management questions offered here to help yourself stay focused and reflexive on your journey for personal, team, and organizational growth.
Schedule an exploratory positivity call! Or, become a member of Hashtag Positivity to access exclusive resources to help you and the people you serve manage positive change for your growth and development.
Jonas Cain is a Positivity Coach, Learning Experience Designer, and Facilitator of Fascination for Hashtag Positivity, helping emerging leaders and their influencers initiate and manage positive change for personal, team, and organizational growth.
Jonas Cain is an educator, facilitator, and coach, working to engage, empower, and encourage leaders and the people they serve to experience joy.