Effectively managing change, in all of its various forms, is like working on our roots. Put differently, instead of being whipped about by change, we can use change to develop our minds and hearts. How? Well, through the process of change. That is to say that we can nourish, strengthen, and improve our mental clarity, and, therein, our creativity, wellness, collaboration, performance, happiness, and, yes, success as the seasons of change swirl around us. Thereby nurturing our roots for an abundant harvest year after year.

To do this we could begin a quest into the countless methods on the market that claim to promote mental clarity (meditation, exercise, nutrition, therapy, etc.). Or, we could opt to roll up our sleeves and raise our awareness about how we perceive change one situation at a time and one day at a time.

For example, let's say that we receive an unexpected call. A long-awaited dinner party becomes cancelled. Since that is a change, how do we respond? Do we respond with anger, shock, dismay, creativity, collaboration, happiness, what?

Or, let's say that we receive a call that our son is swept away in a rogue avalanche and the rescue workers were unable to save him. Do we respond to such a torrent that tears through our hearts and souls leaving splinters and rotting fruit in its wake by suing the ski resort, facilitating collaborative-avalanche training in his memory, what?

While the second example is a bit extreme, change happens each second, moment, day, week, month, and season of each year, decade, century, and millennium. Ground-breaking psychologist, William Bridges writes, "Chaos is the primal state of pure energy for every true new beginning" (extracted on 19 Feb 2012 from internet source (1) listed below). Or, from the change that quietly annoys us to the change that devastates our well-laid plans to sea-note changes that explode into our awareness and wither all that we knew to the core, emerges opportunity.

The question then becomes, what type of opportunity do we want? Do we want our new beginning to be filled with anger, resentment, happiness, creativity, wellness, collaboration, what?

Whether we chose to be whipped about or to whip change, how we respond is the sweet spot to making change work for and not against us. How we react to change one situation at a time is how we learn to interact, and, perhaps even, dance with change. Thereby, learning, one choice, one day, one situation at a time to nourish, strengthen, and improve our mental clarity, creativity, wellness, collaboration, performance, happiness, and, yes, success because doing such also increases our self-efficacy or capacity to respond effectively. This is how we humans are hard-wired.

So, the choice is do we consciously develop our higher-order skills or reinforce the more primal aspects of our being. For me the answer comes down to what type of world that I want to live in. Regardless of what occurs, one choice, my choice, may affect all: see internet source (2) below for Butterfly Effect and Chaos Theory. This choice is always there for me.

As the seasons of change swirl around us on so many fronts in 2012, do we flow or flail, respond or react, nourish and collaborate or demean and scheme? Whatever it is that we do, what ever change that may come our way, we decide what fruit we harvest this and the next seasons to follow. We decide whether we let our orchards go to ruins or we nourish our roots with the richness of skills that we have and often share.

During the next week, may we raise our awareness about how we respond to change. As the coming weeks thereafter pass, may we also open our awareness to those times when we throw up our hands in despair and walk away or call for help. As the coming months thereafter pass, may we further decide that we, not change, decides what fruit in life that we do and do not harvest.

Until next week, be clear, be well, be all in. You've got this!

Internet Sources

(1) http://www.wmbridges.com/

(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect

Author's Bio: 

Using a pragmatic approach to business and life, Deone Benninghoven, MSM is known as The Be-Clear Gal. She is a sought after coach, speaker, consultant, and author that facilitates the performance development of individuals, teams, and organizations using a strength-based and systemic approach. Her clients consistently indicate that Benninghoven's approach to change management is practical, useful, and sustainable. Individuals, and groups such as Microsoft, Accenture, Symbol Technologies, sovereign nations, local and regional municipalities, leave her Be-Clear keynotes with academically-sound and evidence-based information shared in a fun and easy-to-understand and apply format.

Benninghoven holds a BS and MSM from Antioch University Seattle in Organizational Design & Leadership Development and Management and lives in Seattle, WA. Believing that one step at a time the sculpture, dance, and song of life emerges, she is involved in multiple coaching and organizational-development associations, Toastmasters, the Seattle Writer's Guild, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, City of Seattle Youth Services, and sports, art, dance, and singing groups.

"Be clear on who you are and then be it" (Be True, Be Happy, Hanns-Oskar Porr).