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Rational intelligence. The head.

By Ruth Tearle

One of the most useful personal management skill today is that of managing personal change. In times of turbulence, many people are feeling scared and frustrated about their lives for a number of reasons.

  • Some, have been employed and are facing possible retrenchment.
  • Others are in their own businesses, but are not earning. Their clients are cutting back. The products and services that used to sell easily, are no longer a priority in a recession. They know they need to change their business model, but something inside of them feels stuck.
  • Yet others, are employed in the corporate world. But they are feeling bored. A small voice deep within them is saying ‘its time to follow your passion.’ But they are scared, because they know that chasing after a dream, during a recession is very risky.

Many people are asking questions about dealing with personal change:

Feel the fear and do it wisely.
  • How can we reduce the risk?
  • How do we handle the fear?
  • How do we become unstuck?

The head, heart & soul of personal change.

To manage the very real fear associated with managing personal change, it helps to look at change management from three different view points.

  • The head: What you should do. This is often known as ‘rational intelligence’.
  • The heart: How you and others will feel. This is known as emotional intelligence.
  • The Soul: Accessing your inner wisdom. Becoming yourself. This is often called spiritual intelligence.

The head

headThe more carefully you plan your change, and the more research you do before you launch into a new life, the less stress you will feel. To plan a change you need to answer three questions clearly.

1. Where do I want to be?

An important personal management skills is to look at who is already successful doing what you want to do, or doing something similar to your dream? Learn from them.

  • What makes them successful today?
  • What do they do regularly to stay successful at what they do?
  • What has contributed to their success?
  • What path did they follow to achieve their success?
  • What do they have in place now, that they didn’t have when they started?
  • If you intend starting a business, do some market research. Who could your customers be? What do they value? Who do they currently buy from and why? What would make them buy from you?
  • What new rules do you think you are going to have to follow, to be successful in your dream?
  • Create a vision of what you would be doing if you were where you wanted to be. Draw a picture, create a collage or write a story about your future life.

2. Where am I today?

The next personal management skill is to look at where you are you today, compared to the rules you will need to follow to be successful in your dream?

  • What are you already doing today, that you can build on for your future?
  • Think creatively about what you already have - that you simply need to use differently. e.g. experience, knowledge of a market, industry or field, contacts, a reputation, or a market that already knows you.
  • Think of what is out there, that you could use to support you - e.g. social networking sites, computer systems, or existing products. What or whose work can you piggyback onto?
  • How can you build on what you already have, to create something new and fresh? Be quite creative here. Look at everything you know, do and enjoy doing, from the point of view of your ‘new rules for the future’. Ask yourself how you can adapt your strengths or passions towards helping you achieve your dream. For example, a consultant once told me she was having trouble getting business because she hated marketing. She had a love of writing. She then began to use this passion for writing to market herself. She now has a website, a blog, a newsletter and contributes regularly to social networking sites. Suddenly her marketing is taken care of.

3. How do I create a bridge between the two stages?

bridgeMany people create unnecessary stress for themselves by simply ‘taking a leap of faith’ into a new career or life. A simpler, more effective personal management skill is to develop a bridge, and to cross into your new life a step at a time.

  • What are the steps you need to follow to move from your current world towards your dream? Base this on the research you did.
  • Which steps can you begin working on right now, without any risk to yourself? What small things can you do each day, without having to sacrifice too much?
  • Can you reduce your risk by starting small, and growing slowly. Can you do a pilot? Can you offer your services free, while you can gain experience?

Don’t sabotage yourself with impossible deadlines.

Give yourself enough time.

When starting a new business, or learning a new skill, many people (and their families) make comments like “I must make it within 2 years or I will give up.” This is a cruel form of self-sabotage. Sustainable success never happens in an instant, or even a year. It creeps into a lifetime of habits. It takes 21 practice times to create a habit. And it takes 10 000 hours of practicing a habit to achieve mastery of anything.

Once you have done your research and planned your transition to your new life, you need to understand the heart and soul of change. How you and others are likely to feel and react. And how you can access your own inner wisdom on your journey to success.

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