As we all know, that different people frequently react – on the odd occasion respond – differently to circumstances, situations and events. Similar to the reaction of objects entering the magnetic field of a magnet…
- some objects are attracted by the magnetic field,
- some are repelled the magnetic field and
- others are neutral towards the magnetic field (i.e. nothing happens, it remains static in one place, it doesn’t “move” closer, nor does it “move” away).
Changing our attitude (&views, perspectives or ideas) towards life, requires patience and the setting of an example, by creating the desired magnetic field that can either attract or repel others, events and/or circumstances.
PLEASE do not try and force yourself or any individual (irrespective whether adult, teen or child) to change, because this will only result in emotional resistance, opposing actions (either overt or covert resistance) and a withdrawal by that individual.
When we act as a change agent (i.e. role-model for change) to propel ourselves and/or others to accept and productively deal with change, we need to apply pressure. BECAUSE, pressure (magnetic field) and heat (discontent) creates a diamond from coal. When no pressure is applied, coal remains coal and we do not deal with change nor do we adapt to the resulting circumstances.
However, when such pressure is applied incorrectly, you may break the shell and kill the chicken long before it hatches. Although pressure can result in a diamond, we are “delicate” (like an egg) and when pressure is applied incorrectly, the original reason for applying pressure in the first place, is missed completely and we get derailed from our intended change vision, goal and objectives. To successfully ACT as a change agent, you need to ask yourself the following questions…
How do I apply pressure?
Threats or rewards do not work in the long run, because people tends to become neutral and passive towards this kind of pressure, only reacting on direct “authoritative” input (i.e. see what they do) to, either receive a reward (bonus, cookie, bicycle), or to avoid punishment (getting fired, suspended, send to your room, hiding).
The only way that we can beneficially influence others to change (i.e. apply pressure) is by setting an example, an example of what is expected and how things should be done. Do not be afraid to experiment, it is only through mistakes that we learn. Therefore, embrace the many benefits of first do, then learn.
(Please take note… The ability to learn from our own mistakes, are already setting an example of how to deal with failure).
What kind of mentality do I adopt to apply pressure?
The more SENSIBLE the person respond, the more freedom of choice we could allow him/her/yourself. The COUNTERPART is also true. The less sensible the reaction, the more restrictive we become. We cannot PREVENT people to suffer the consequences of their actions.
Strong-willed people follow their own desires into trouble and must accept the consequences of their choices AND actions. When a strong-willed person is going wildly off track, do not force him/her back on track, only offer sympathetic guidance. When that person is hell-bent, stand back and allow him/her to learn the hard way (i.e. through experiencing pain).
How much pressure do I apply?
Offer advice and steer clear of the “claim” that you are merely acting in his/her best interest by “saving” him/her from their own decisions and actions. When you act in another person’s best interest on his/her behalf, the result is quite often that s/he maintain an “irresponsible” attitude and still feels that accountability still lies with someone else… you, parent, manager, supervisor, government, church, school, …etc. In actual fact, this leaves them free to carry on as before, and blaming misconduct on someone else, circumstances, procedures, society, history, …etc.
When “protecting” people against consequences (either good or bad) you take responsibility for their actions and ultimately are held accountable for what they do. In the short term such an approach might yield enormous benefits (achieving goals and bottom lines), but in the long run tends to destroy expectations, relations and create a climate of uncertainty, confusion, jealousy, mistrust and fear.
How do I apply pressure?
- The change game:- Personal change and/or change agent (for other people) to encourage a mind-shift and to efficiently address changing circumstances. Thus, your change vision.
- The playing field of change:- Identify the core change arena (i.e. personal, professional, family, community) and the sidelines of the playing field. Thus, your change demarcations.
- Goal & objectives of the change game:- Establish a climate which draws people closer to your change game and compel them to actively participate, cooperate, co-create and share (“I don’t teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” – Albert Einstein). Thus, your change mission.
- Change game strategy:- Pressuring yourself and/or setting an example to pressure others to follow in your footsteps. Thus, your change values and legacy.
- Rules regulating the change game:- Anticipation, Request, Attraction, Resistance, Reflection, Projection and Attachment.
The above questions need to be answered (using change SWOT-analysis results as source), justly and fairly applied during game plays. By doing so you will be able to create a healthy magnetic field (culture/climate) beneficial for self-empowerment and psyche management… for yourself, as well as for others participating in the change game.