On the group bike ride, I had plenty of opportunity to capture the various thoughts surfacing during the numerous occasions where I was thrown off equilibrium by the 10-15 mph winds and various gusts. On top of my mind was the topic of change. The various words associated with change. Change is an imperative and ubiquitous.
As I attempted to sustain my acceleration, I was struggling to accept the basic limitations presented by the weather. Capturing my thinking about various past readings concerning change, I made a conscious decision to accept, observe, notice how change was occurring, work with it, learn how to adapt and decided to go with the wind, AKA “go with the flow.” This provided me the opportunity to take in the scenery and absorb the vast bundles of blue bonnets.
I became observant to other individual riders’ persevering against the winds, and how the connectivity and relatedness enhanced the joy of conquering the winds together. One individual approached my left on her bike, and we cycled side-by-side up a long stretch and she said, “This is so much better than being alone.” I pondered the various tensions associated with change, such as tight boundaries and yet being open to the environment, going it solo or going it with others, etc. Also, the importance of connectivity and relatedness were raised, and how riding side-by-side impacted the shift in power, as our cadence increased together as we climbed.
I am not an expert on change, however I thrive for continuous learning associated with it. I am often very curious when I hear individuals exclaim, “People hate and don’t do change well” and I find it difficult to believe, when I have observed the long lines awaiting the opportunity to purchase the latest Apple products. This is an example of change, autonomy and promotion; belief that the new gadget will bring more reward versus threat to one’s life. I have the opinion that people have a basic sincere appreciation and commitment to change, and we are wired to adapt, and that any indifferences with change occur from uncertainty and the perceived threats and one’s or collective thinking patterns which are misinterpreted as being resistant to change.
We also had a new joiner on our ride that was unfamiliar with the route and the wind sensations on the bike. Listening to her various comments during the ride, I decided to try something. As I had more familiarity with the route, I aimed to share to enhance her certainty with messages such as, “Ahead we will decline for a while, be sure to capture the welcomed speed to support you with the preceding steady hill, and drop your gears accordingly. We can do it together.” This seemed to relieve her, and I witnessed my words providing a sense of certainty through prediction and increased confidence.
Are avoidance patterns related to feedback, our individual and collective feedback? Perhaps our thinking is heavily influenced by our individual “head winds…AKA head noise?”
I am thankful for my head noise, and I deliberately try to focus to shift thoughts such as, “this winds stinks” to a positive such as, “this wind is providing me an opportunity to take in the blue bonnets I would otherwise miss”. What are your thinking patterns during times of change? If you are a leader, what is your role with your team(s) during times of change?
- "I don’t know how you do it, but you really are good about drawing out the “real” issue(s) and making me think of ways to resolve/face them!”Michelle Lopez, PHR
HR Business Partner
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