It’s really true. We’re all just doing the best we know how. I keep getting chances to learn this lesson – over and over and over. Today, I had another chance. You see I was making assumptions about another person’s motives. I was assuming he didn’t care. I was assuming he was never going to get on board with change– that he didn’t have the ability or the interest. I was in a discussion at work about implementing an improvement plan that involved the help of this individual. Now this plan’s development and implementation has been a topic of conversation since the fall, when I started my current job. In previous discussions, “he” had always insisted everything was fine and nothing needed to change – except the new hires recognizing that everything was fine and ending their push for change. Now I and my newly hired co-workers knew things weren’t okay. Our jobs had been created because things weren’t ok. But in the mind of “he,” everything was ok. And you know what – based on “he’s” criteria, everything WAS ok. The parts of the workplace he was focusing on were functioning well. The parts I was focusing on weren’t. So we were BOTH RIGHT. What we had to do was get on the same page, use the same language, talk about the same things. When we did that, it all shifted.
What I saw from “he” was completely different than what I had been assuming. He wasn’t apathetic about change. In fact, he cared deeply about being able to help our workplace be the best it could be. He was also confused and scared. When we started to talk about the areas that did need change, these were areas with which he was unfamiliar. But when he realized he was unfamiliar – he sought to learn. He asked questions, he clarified his understanding and we all kept working as a team until we were on the same page.
So where does the “Being the Change” piece come in? Being willing to look at things in a different way. I was willing to see this person in a different light. If I hadn’t been willing, I wouldn’t have seen the possibilities. I wouldn’t have been willing to help him through his learning process with a spirit of support. I would have shamed him for not knowing. I would have been condescending. And the group wouldn’t have made the tremendous breakthrough we made today. I can feel how powerful the shift was because I am sitting here feeling like I just gave birth.
Sometimes – ok A LOT of times – Being the Change is about being patient with people. It’s about believing that everyone is doing the best they can with what they’ve got. So if we need “better,” we need to give more – more support, more understanding. I’m not talking about being an enabler. I’m talking about giving people the chance to change, to see things differently, to open their minds, their hearts. I’m talking about being willing to put down prejudices (pre-judgements) and look at things with fresh eyes. I’m talking about trusting that change is possible when people feel supported.
I’ll probably re-read this myself. A LOT! I am Indigo and I am prone to frustration and impatience. I am prone to calling people idiots. I’m not proud of it but I know my weaknesses as well as my strengths – which is another blog for another day. I am just as much – maybe more so – on the path of Being the Change as you. That’s why I have stuff to write about! But the Universe is always giving me more reasons to trust, to believe. That’s what keeps me on the path.