West indian people

Cos’ transformation linked to the change of mindset of people

By Prabir Jha
In my consulting experience, I get many potential clients asking for help with their organizational transformation program. While it’s easier for them to talk about the business results they seek, many read their organizational readiness more fleetingly. No organization, however, can change on its own without a higher level of collective consciousness. And to get there, you have to start with the individual, starting with the CEO. Unless individual mindsets change, the collective will never think or behave differently.
The journey to becoming more self-aware is never easy. There is no “eureka” moment. It’s about powerful questions, honest introspection, and ultimately a determined will to change that solves the equation. You cannot mandate self-awareness, you can only induce one. I share some key benchmarks that I have found useful in driving or facilitating change, both in an individual and in a company:
* Help create context: Unless there is an incentive to change, human behavior is satisfied as is. There is either ignorance or denial. Often it is both. Helping with a few honest questions and slowly probing the individual is a great coaching approach. My constant closing question is always, “Do you think then that you could be as much a reason for the problem as you are the cause of past success?” It is often the entry ticket to prepare the individual to focus on greater self-awareness.
* Mix of tools: a selection of psychometric instruments, 360 degree feedback (maybe even physical bowling) and some additional conversations with loud and quiet pauses contribute to a better appreciation of the whole. People love the assertion of self-confidence, but often simmer with data to the contrary. Emphasis should be placed on absorbing input rather than clarifying, countering and explaining. The more you allow yourself to reflect on the inputs, the more you start to see better gestalt, even if you don’t quite like it.
* Share it yourself: Self-awareness isn’t just about knowing yourself. It’s about owning your vulnerability. It is important to share the essence of one’s being with the people one works or lives with. You share the good, but you always have to share what doesn’t shine. This honesty actually adds respect for you rather than making you look weak. This myth and worry is one of the main reasons the journey to self-awareness fails. You seek the help and support of those around you to work on your areas of improvement. And almost always you get support. More so, it encourages others to do a similar share. Individually and collectively, everyone is starting to get better. And feel better.
* Celebrate the journey: As you work on your self-awareness tracking, you will discover more of yourself. And we thought we really knew each other. You will discover certain forces that you were blind to, as a possible Johari window would say. You will discover things you never wanted to acknowledge but now want to work on. Applaud yourself. Acknowledge anyone who compliments you on the change. Pinch yourself if someone still reminds you of your shortcomings. But never be too hard on yourself. Remember: Self-awareness and after is a journey. Enjoy it rather than being stressed out. Improvement should energize you, not undermine you.
* Thaw-freeze-thaw loop: Building self-awareness and working on it is an endless process. There is no end to being better. Leverage your strengths in so many creative ways. Work on areas of development and seal them. Freeze the new state. And yet, thaw again. Continue to develop your self-awareness. Raise the bar for yourself. And make the virtuous circle a lifelong resolution.
Organizations do not change. People do. Individuals do. The more self-aware individuals become, the more they will build a broader perspective. They will look beyond their own hazy lens. And when individuals begin to change, institutions begin to change. Self-awareness is a miracle drug. It will help you and your collective to become healthier.
The author is Founder and CEO, Prabir Jha People Advisory

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