Jackie Kellso

Posts Tagged ‘reality’

Experiencing Change? Say Yes to Reality.

In ambiguous future, arguing with reality, career challenges, career change, career path, change, chaos, chinese symbol for crisis, confusion, control, coping with pressure at work, corporate life, opportunity for change, organizational change, reality, stress and worry, Uncategorized, work-related problems, work-related stress on November 20, 2017 at 8:04 pm

When you argue with reality you lose — but only 100% of the time. — Byron Katie

I’ve had talks with CEOs of companies as of late, who are very concerned with the reactions and resistance people are having to the concept of change. With downsizing and realignment, new management, less resources — there is a rise in resistance and a drop in morale.

I’m not suggesting the problem isn’t real — corporate changes are complex and difficult. But, the true problem is that for anyone not opting for the new reality, it brings about feelings of uncertainty. Lack of security. Fear.

Fear shuts down the view that change could lead to opportunity and growth. The brain is wired to react to fear in ways that protect us from perceived threat. It calls upon its usual defenses so we can stew in how bad and wrong and unfair life is. The payoff of the fear is that we get to judge others decisions and decide they are wrong. But at the end of the day, who suffers the most? You do. Arguing with reality is futile.

When we fight organizational change we limit our own freedoms because we aren’t using our executive thinking powers to be creative and resourceful. When we accept and surrender to what is, we have limitless potential to make decisions about how we’re going to respond and what our plan will be through the change.

I know this experience only too well. I remember being let go from a long standing job with absolutely no discussion, no explanation, nothing I would have deemed as being respectful to me. I kept rolling the thoughts around my head: How evil!! How could they treat me this way!! How dare they!!!! Well, after stewing in my anger for a time, and feeling rejected, I saw that my thoughts were blocking me from making the reality work in my favor. The void left me a wide open door for change and opportunity that I could create. I could learn something new. I could make new connections. I could live perfectly well without this job even if it took awhile to get back the income. No company could take away the good that was coming my way as long as I kept my eye on what I could control.

I remember once hearing Reverend Jesse Jackson on Larry King Live say, “Death is the only certainty in life.” So, given that truth, it’s beneficial to give up the illusion of security that things will remain as they are.

If you are facing uncomfortable change in your organization, here’s what you can do:

  1. Acknowledge your discomfort, your grievance, your views.
  2. Then, decide to go with the flow and stop insisting that the change is wrong.
  3. Ask yourself some questions about the new reality: What’s best for me? Should I stay or should I go? Can I learn from this? How will this change benefit me as a person? How do I detach from taking this as a personal threat, and surrender into acceptance? What paths are now open for me to pursue?

As I understand it, there exists a symbol in Chinese that means both “crisis and opportunity.” It’s all in how you perceive it. Reality = opportunity. Go for it.

Realistically speaking,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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The Illusion of Taking Control

In business relationships, character, communicating, connection, control, control freaks, coping with pressure at work, corporate life, dealing with a difficult coworker, dealing with a male boss, diplomacy and tact, disagree agreeably, disagreements, empathic listening, fight or flight, human relations, illusion of control, insecure bosses, interpersonal skills, letting go, managing conflict, mindfulness, negativity at work, personality, spiritual growth on June 21, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Dear Control Freaks,

Here are a few examples that define the term “Control Freak”:

1. You have to be in charge of what’s happening or you lose control of your composure.  It could be as small as how chairs are lined up in a room, to scaring the driver in front of you by riding his tail in the fast lane, to push him over to the middle lane.

2. You must reign in other people or you lose control of your temper.  Don’t like someone’s expression or the fact that he’s not as enthusiastic about your project as you are? Well, how dare he!

3. Everyone should buy into your idea or you fear you will lose control of the outcome.  People are giving you feedback you don’t like or disagree with you so you disregard them and don’t see them as team-players.

4. You don’t like what’s happening and have either a FIGHT or FLIGHT response.  You argue or your bust out. You’ve completely lost control.

5. A lack of certainty of what’s happening makes you lose track of your thinking.  You can’t adequately plan the next steps. You feel overwhelmed to not get on top of things.  This is happening because stress hormone has taken over and wipes the pre-frontal cortex (thinking part of the brain) of rational thought.

6. You are miserable when you aren’t in the driver’s seat.  Literally.  Don’t like the way your husband drives?  He doesn’t signal early enough before turning?  So what do you do? You assign yourself as the family driver.

I say these things with deep empathy. I was a control freak with many aspects of the aforementioned as my symptoms.  The work it takes to LET GO and begin realizing that control is an illusion; that the only thing we ever have control over is our own behavior, is a painful but freeing shift to being mindful.

Sure, parents can control their children:  what they eat, when they go to bed, how much they study or play, but one cannot control a child’s spirit, or a child’s feelings. One cannot control a domestic cat’s nature:  you love it and care for it and provide it with scratching posts and toys, and it will still shred the hell out of your sofa.

Just yesterday, I attended a Spiritual Conference at Teacher’s College and one of the workshops I attended was called, Council Practice: Community, Art of Connection and Empathic Listening.  I had hoped to learn some new ways of facilitating improved listening and people skills through this workshop.  The school defined council as: “…a practice of open heartfelt expression and attentive empathic listening.”

So, I’m sitting in a circle with about 30 other people and within 5 minutes I realized that although with very good intentions on the parts of the facilitators, that this was nothing I would have designed and I was completely turned off by the exposure requested of the participants to play in this arena. The spirituality of this felt contrived to me, and the immediate assumption of this group as a ‘community’ of like-minded individuals didn’t work for me.  There were four rounds of everyone responding to a single question; some were barely audible, some overly emotional and some having no sense of when to stop talking. I sat there wanting to take control  – to break up the room into 3 small groups, to set the rules of play about being audible and concise and to create a better opportunity to get feedback and debrief each step, to ensure value was being transferred.

As an empathic listener by trade, I still only have so much patience.  Being asked to hear 29 other people speak four times = listening to 116 people’s stories, all in 90 minutes, with the idea of being open-hearted to all, was a bit much of an ask of me.  I wanted to yell or flee.  So when the question posed of us was, “What’s the greatest gift you’ve ever given to someone?”, I said, “The gift I’m giving is to me right now. I am sitting here fully awake to the fact that I have no say in the way this workshop is being run, and the reminder that I have no control. I’m glad to use this experience to become better at letting go.” And I meant it.

The “freak” in us just limits our ability to dance with the flow of reality.  By learning that we don’t have to love what’s happening and don’t have to change it is quite freeing.  We can move from having an illusion of needing to exert power to building skills in patience, and allowing ourselves to experience the teachings that life has in store for us.

Mindfully yours,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.