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The Turning Point

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The Turning Point can be a lonely and disorienting place.  It is when we realize what we used to do doesn’t work anymore and we haven’t developed new skills to become comfortable in our new skin yet.  It’s also easy to get stuck in the Turning Point phase.  Adopting new behaviors can be difficult, managing our self-talk takes consistent energy, and lingering emotions from The Ending phase (remember that talk about Transition) continue to impact our perceptions making it even more difficult to move forward.

Take a look at our illustration again to see common struggles in The Turning Point.

In looking at The Turning Point, can you see yourself acting/feeling/thinking some of these ways? Let’s lean into that for a moment.

Activity: Managing The Turning Point

Answer the following questions to determine how you manage Turning Points.  Give yourself 15-minutes to reflect and answer.  Be prepared to use this information in upcoming activities.

  1. What do you do to motivate yourself when times are difficult?
  2. How do you manage self-talk when stressed, overcome, or overwhelmed?
  3. When you feel stuck, how do you work through it?
  4. Is there anything you do to be proactive to positively impact your behaviors?
  5. What actions can you take to impact your behaviors and navigate a tough situation?

Congrats! Those can be hard questions to answer since most of us don’t navigate Turning Points with the most stellar of results.

Surviving or Thriving

There are two ways to come through The Turning Point phase. We can survive it, or we can thrive through it.

To survive through something means you have lived through a situation to tell the tale.  To thrive through an event means you have taken the experience, examined all sides, grown from it, and will use your experience to do better in the future.  Let’s look at how this applies to the change process.

This visual illustrates what “Surviving through Change” looks like.

First, we have our change event. The remainder of the steps is similar in that they are variable and dependent upon one another.  For example, the second step, our Reaction to the Change, can be either positive or negative (excitement or fear).  This will subsequently influence our Response in a positive or negative way (laugh or cry), directly impacting our Outcome/Performance (make a sale or scare our customer away).

Think about what would happen if you had a change occur in the workplace and your Reaction and Response was both negative.  How would that affect you?

  • You might want to sit in the back more and take less initiative with clients.
  • Your body language becomes complacent and lethargic while your voice tone loses its inflection causing team members to have to pick up your slack.
  • You become the servant to your clients instead of being of service to them.

What would happen if part of your equation was positive, and some was negative?

  • Your Outcome/Performance would be inconsistent.
  • You would be able to meet the needs and expectations of some clients, but not others.
  • Some of your goals might be met for the day depending on our clients’ task needs and the level of energy those require from you.

Now, you might assume that the best process is one that all reactions are positive. Not so fast.

If you kept all the steps positive that doesn’t mean those are the most meaningful and teachable situations. You might go through the motions but without a deeper level of learning/understanding and authentic growth, you’re really just a robot doing what works; and that gets old very fast.

It is when you fully challenge yourself by looking at all of the dynamics of your interactions that you can fully thrive through change and become better for each change process.

Examine the illustration below. What do you see as the difference between “Surviving” and “Thriving through Change”?

Here are some other responses from SMaRT Club members:

  • There are more steps in “Thriving through Change” than “Surviving through Change” which causes us to take the process slower, but with more purpose.
  • There are no positive or negative options along the way when we are “Thriving through Change”, but only one positive outcome/performance result.
  • There are two goals to in the Thriving Through Change process; one for personal, long-term growth and the other for anyone impacted by our change process. This creates win-win outcomes.

We expect someone to be more successful and to grow more following the Thriving Through Change path because during this process we are asking ourselves more concrete questions that require specific information to answer in order to move forward.  By thinking through your situation, it leaves little room to react and respond in a negative way; therefore, preventing the change from having a negative effect on our Outcome/Performance.

From what you have learned so far of the phases, it’s important to note which of the steps impacts your Outcome/Performance the most. That would be the second step, Why: Understand the End Game.

Remember when we spoke about the marathon runner) and it was when s/he thought about the finish line that made the most difference?  It’s when we Understand the End Game that our Outcome/Performance is impacted, and our motivation stays high.  We picture success before it happens and it becomes part of our plan.

Here’s a common example of “Thriving through Change” in the workplace and how it might manifest.

When there is a change event, a new supervisor for example, you might need to understand why there was a change of leadership that requires information from other leaders or teammates.

If the End Game is to bring a supervisor onboard that has more experience in technology or experience increasing profit margins, then you know that your behaviors during your Turning Point phase will be geared to meeting goals matching the skills and strengths of the new supervisor. This will aid you in your self-talk, relieve many emotions, and keep your behaviors on track as you try new skills. The outcome/performance is going to be positive because you took the process a step at a time and made sure each phase was in line with the End Game.

Once you are able to consistently thrive through change you will see more New Beginnings.

Let’s take a look at this last phase of the Adapting to Change process

Key Takeaways

In this module you will have an overview of the third phase of Adapting to Change, The Turning Point. You will identify how you currently manage your Turning Points and gain some new, positive ideas moving forward by examining the concepts of “Surviving through Change” and “Thriving through Change”. Activities help you dissect each process and visual aids are introduced to enhance the key concepts. An emphasis on thriving in the home and workplace is made and examples are shared so you can relate to specific behaviors.

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