We've been asked to move on and re-connect our lives.
The character, the courage and the ability to move on are tough issues. How can we become more able to deal with a change that creates anxiety, makes numerous changes to our lives, and make sense of how others are responding?
What does an enormous change mean to me? Will I lose my job, business, loved ones or my own life?
The answer is no one knows.
One thing is for sure: we can't control events that have already happened. We can adapt and improve our ability to productively respond to the aftermath. There are two aspects of adaptability.
Adaptability is the amount of flexibility and versatility an individual has developed to respond to changing interpersonal situations and environmental requirements.
Flexibility is exhibited by personal attitudes toward your self, others and the situations you face.
Versatility is distinctive
abilities and skills in productively managing a variety of
Do you attract positives or negatives?
Your attitude toward an event reflects much about you.
Research shows that individuals who are flexible are confident, tolerant, empathetic, positive and respect others.
Less flexible individuals are rigid, compete with others, exhibit discontent, are less approachable, and have difficulty dealing with ambiguity.
flexible individuals are helping others, rebuilding and taking change one day at
a time. Less flexible individuals are finding groups to hate and are unable to
factor different viewpoints into thinking and reactions.
Different orientations create different challenges. Take this test: when a change happens, what do you want to do immediately:
If you wanted to get busy, you're probably more task directed. If you contacted friends and loved ones, you're more people oriented. If you withdrew, you are more indirect and most likely, task oriented. Many of us want to do all three at different times. Your first response is the most important to determine your orientation. After the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, one very task-oriented individual I know, drove 3000 miles in 3 days to get back to his family--doing something that was important to him.
Think of the rallies, the ribbons and flags, the tributes to the heroic--ways to be involved with people.
Each orientation has different challenges during change to being more flexible.
Generally task oriented individuals need to improve their attitudes toward developing and maintaining relationships with others. Task oriented styles tend to be defensive--from the extremes of antagonistic to withdrawn and unengaged. These differences and needs can be expressed positively or negatively.
Has your behavior been to reach out to understand or has it been to lash back in counter-productive revenge fantasies?
Have you withdrawn to reflect and develop new plans to live in the world around us or brooded and obsessed over events? The planning response is productive.
People oriented styles need generally to improve their attitudes toward giving direction and getting things accomplished. People oriented styles avoid problems in different ways ranging from actively seeking out a new situations or people to passively waiting for things to change for the better.
If you're having trouble getting focused, it's time to plan.
Everyone may need some time to be still or reflect.
We may need to forgive ourselves for an aspect of the loss. For example, was our thinking toward safety and security too short-term? Did this short-term thinking lead to the attack on our cities? If so, we must forgive ourselves and learn from it. I was struck by a phrase Bill Moyers attributed to his spouse, Judith, "Forgiveness is giving up on the idea of a better past."
can't change the past. We can improve our skills to meet the challenge of
returning to normal, which brings us to the second aspect of adaptability: versatility.
Versatile people adopt skills and abilities that increase resilience, vision, attentiveness, competence and self-correction.
Versatile individuals practice self-discipline and find tools that increase their capacity to be productive. Individuals who are less versatile usually make excuses.
Excuse behavior manifests itself in many ways. The underlying factor is a sense of self-importance that manifests itself in subjectiveness, bluntness, resistance, single-mindedness, and unreasonable risk-taking.
Subjective individuals use problems as opportunities
for special favors and resist accepting responsibility for their actions.
Another way to look at those with low versatility is that it is a very reactive
mode of approaching new developments. The reactive individual believes his or
her needs must
be met no matter what effect or impact it has on others.
Poor behavioral adaptability destroys understanding, teamwork and finding higher better solutions.
It manifests itself in blame placing that focuses on others’ weaknesses, not strengths. This blame placing denies one’s own part in understanding, teamwork and reaching better solutions. Understanding another viewpoint does NOT mean agreeing with it.
placing focuses on
symptoms rather than actually looking at the root cause of the problem. This
results in tension-relieving behavior that rarely addresses real issues but
generates much activity and animosity.
Improving behavioral adaptability of all people is a necessary element for world understanding, group and personal success. Using diversity helps us to better meet challenges.
We have not only one of the greatest challenges to not let terror victimize us, but also to not become as low as the perpetrators.
If we stereotype any minority group as bad or deserving punishment, we have lowered ourselves to the despicable behavior of the terrorist.
We need all the flexibility and versatility we can muster to out-fox individuals and fanatics who would harm us.
We have been victimized. We can choose whether to move on or become victims.
If you would like a free 360¡ assessment tool to assess flexibility and versatility of you and your group, please contact Janice Scanlan at email@example.com or 281 261-2320.
For ten inspiring stories of how people productively respond to change, press Nobody Moved Your Cheese.
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