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Using Clifton Strengths to Paddle the Whitewaters of Change.

Photo by Marian Trizuliak on Unsplash

Change is alteration, substitution, or transformation. It occurs in single moments or a multitude of instants over time. But no matter the initiate or the method, when change occurs, the past is replaced by the present.

Many people fear change, but that’s like being afraid of a screwdriver. Change is a tool. It is an instrument of renovation, and devices are morally neutral. Change cannot be good or bad; it can only be. The determined value of change is all in how we see it.

In a world incessantly adjusting, how do we embrace waves of change and let them produce the highest good in our lives?

Treat change as whitewater. Instead of just surrendering to currents and churn, keep paddling. Propulsion is required to steer through turbulent waters. (Learn, plan, respond)

Assume adjustments are coming, so plan for variations. Do your plans have back-up plans? What do you do if the client plan falls through? Is your planning responsive to reality or demanding reality bend?

Make transitions work for you. Solutions to problems can be discovered by modifying one variable at a time.
Change your environment, ask new questions of new people, and do anything to impact your point of view. You can make significant changes by varying small elements of perspective.

Change, when anticipated, is comforting. It’s like the breaking of a season. It’s the breath and pause between beats. And yet it feels uncertain.

If you’re leading others in change, you need to lead.
Allow people their feelings.
Celebrate the values but mourn any loss.
Prepare for the confusion, but assure them of your commitment.

Gallup’s Clifton Strengths Tool is a valuable resource for leaders to help their people navigate change.

-The 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder themes are clustered into four domains of Executing, Influencing, Relating, and Strategic Thinking.
-If you’re in moments of profound change, the domains you fit into dominantly reveal tactics to help you navigate your situation. (As well as the people you lead)

-Executing: These themes process their uncertainty by diving into work. Talk about how coming changes will alter work plans. Discuss timing and measurements. Insecurity about what they’re doing or supposed to do will drive their anxiety. Create lists of tasks and actions. Give lots of progress reports

-Influencing: These themes need to understand changes in light of legacy. What will it mean to public perception?
Be ready to connect the moment to the future. Express resulting possibilities from the changes

-Relating: Assure people of their priority in the planning and data. Continuously hold-up how decisions have been impacted by human consideration. Create spaces for them to interact in small groups since that’s how they make sense of the world through conversations.

-Strategic Thinking: Advanced notice of a change is enormous. Their minds need “pre-heating” to process well. Sharing data changes are based on is vital. If they have concerns, have them submit questions in writing. They frame their thinking best when writing. Be prepared for questions but few expressions. They don’t share their internal processing under stress. Time is key.

Making change a part of your life will make your life richer. And who knows, as you crest the whitewater, you may discover you love the ride.


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