Safe to Change

I’ve been reminded in multiple ways recently that stress can stand in the way of our ability and willingness to adapt, both personally and organizationally.

When our nervous system is on high alert, our tendency is to self-protect. In that state, it’s very hard for us to be curious, to listen well, or to stay open to new experiences. We can easily get stuck in unhelpful patterns simply because we are so overwhelmed by demands and ongoing volatility that we can’t bear to introduce change in yet another area of our life — even if that change is positive and wanted.

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Welcoming the path of least resistance

Are you wired to take the harder or easier path?

It’s an area of contradiction for me. I tend to assume that the more difficult route is the right one — my brain’s distortion of The Road Not Taken alongside an over-developed Protestant work ethic I suspect. Yet at the same time, I love helping my clients find their easier path to success. For instance, when I work on increasing a team’s Adaptability Quotient, I’ll often say, “We all have to adapt. Why not discover your easier, preferred route to doing so and take that path through the woods of uncertainty rather than hacking your way through the brush of an uncleared trail?”

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