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Participate in Transformation

Validation

When transformation occurs it should be acknowledged. We all believe we are good people. When that belief has been challenged and we have walked the difficult road of attempting to match reality with our beliefs, we deserve to hear about […]

Persistence

In transformation, as in virtually every human activity, persistence is often the difference between success and failure. If we do not persist, we “give up,” and those who give up are no longer assuming responsibility for the situation. To a […]

Realistic Expectations

roots of the attitudes and behaviors we seek to transform may be planted in body memories formed long before we learned to ride a bicycle, and may last just as long as that remarkable piece of programming. When we grow […]

Coping with Recurring Behavior

When there are too few examples of a leader doing the right thing and too many of continuing the offending behavior, both disconfirmation and coping mechanisms are needed. We’ll find ourselves better prepared to give disconfirming feedback if we get […]

Positive Reinforcement

Insights may occur in a flash, but this is rarely true of lasting transformation. Translating insights into new ways of relating to ourselves and others is usually a long, uneven process. Successful transformation is assisted by reinforcement when we are […]

Containing Abusive Behavior

While modeling ways to change, followers may also need to help leaders contain abusive behavior until they can transform it. For example, a leader who screams needs to modify this behavior while working to transform the underlying causes. Otherwise, the […]

Modeling Empathy

We can model any characteristic we possess or develop, but the most important one to model may be empathy. A leader must be able to empathize with real people and not just serve abstractions. Among the most abusive acts are […]

Modeling Change for a Leader

When a leader is engaged in transformation, old ways of doing things become insupportable and start to break down. The leader begins searching for new ways of doing things. Models become important. Followers can sometimes provide those models. A follower […]

Creating a Supportive Environment

Transformation requires a secure vessel—the equivalent of a protective cocoon in which the work can be done. This is difficult to create in the hurly-burly world of fast-moving organizations. It can be done, however, by followers who are committed to […]

Using an Outside Facilitator

If a group intervention is indicated, it is advisable to use an outside facilitator unbiased by preconceptions and uninvolved with organizational politics. An outside facilitator can ask difficult questions, make difficult observations, and be trusted to respect the confidentiality of […]

Identifying Transformation Resources

Once we have the attention of a leader and have interested her in transforming her behavior or practices, we should be prepared to suggest vehicles for doing so. While some of the process of transformation can be done on our […]

Reactions to Confrontation

The act of inviting a leader to join in a transformation process itself initiates change. Raising an issue with a leader ensures things will never be quite the same, even if the change produced is subtle, and whether or not […]

Dedication to Cause as Justification

Leaders sometimes use their dedication to the cause to justify inappropriate behavior, and then construe a challenge to their behavior as an attack on the cause. Leaders may come to consider their own welfare so critical to the success of […]

Denial and Justification of Behavior

The greatest barrier to changing dysfunctional behavior is denial or justification of the behavior. Leaders are prone to discount the importance of their destructive behavior on the grounds that up to now it hasn’t prevented them from attaining success. Often, […]

Channeling the Leader’s Frustration

Some leaders in need of serious self-examination experience frustration with the failings of others and do not make the link to failings in themselves. Rather than this presenting a problem, it may present an opportunity to involve the leader in […]

The Follower’s Role

In all situations calling for transformation, the people closest to the individual in need of change play a pivotal role. Our primary relationships are the arena in which transformation of attitude and behavior is most likely to occur. As followers […]

The Process of Personal Transformation

Let’s examine what the process of transforming attitudes and behavior consists of, as well as the forces that can impede or facilitate the process. SELF-ORGANIZING PROCESSES Though many living things transform themselves, we don’t expect a caterpillar to become an […]

When is Transformation Possible?

Consciousness of the need for transformation can occur when leaders have gradually prepared for change and are ready to embrace it, or when they are unprepared for it and life events force them to wake up. Usually, multiple life events […]

The Courage to Participate in Transformation

I find it tragic that able leaders who fall dramatically from grace often share a common experience: their closest followers have long been aware of their fatal flaw and were unsuccessful in getting the leader to deal with it. Revelation […]