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Chapter 13. The reality > Reflect (continue)

Reflect (continue)

  • Head: In the Continue stage, your role is often to help the client and consumer reflect on the success of the project and commit to a long-lasting change. However, clients often have an embedded belief that they cannot change and will not be able to survive once you have left. These self-limiting beliefs can be destructive because they act as a rubber band, dragging the client and consumer back to the previous state every time they try to change. Your role is to tackle this cognitive lock-in by challenging and pushing them to new ways of thinking. The goal is to help others to become more proactive in the management of their own problems and empower them to act on their own behalf.

  • Heart: Clearly, in trying to challenge people you will be in an exposed position. People, teams and organizations will often react in one of two ways when faced with a challenging situation. They might fight back and resist the challenge by offering a counter-assertion. Rather than having to face and deal with your propositions, they decide to prove that you are wrong by force of will, intellect or emotion. The alternative approach is to go into flight, to run away and hide from the issue. So if your proposition is that the project can only be successful if they make certain changes, they will studiously assert that yes they will make the change. But at a deep level they are only fooling themselves. You need to understand and work with both reactions. If you can act as a sponge when their emotions kick in, then you will be able to lead them through the difficult stage and then start to deal with some of the critical issues that will help to ensure continuance of the change.

  • Hands: Throughout the whole Continue stage, your behaviour must be a subtle blend of confident assertion and sensitive withdrawal. It can be difficult to hand over responsibility for the change to the client and you must ensure that all your behaviours provide the strength and comfort your client needs to take ownership of the transformation.


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