What Stops Us Achieving Our Goals?

(By Ann Towers) Maybe you have just achieved a promotion to a leadership position, and you realise that you need to delegate better? Perhaps you’re a manager who has been getting feedback in reviews that you need to speak up more in meetings with your peers? Maybe you have made losing weight your New Year’s resolution for the 7th time in 7 years?

Most likely you’ve made sincere commitments to change: you might have brought and read some books, participated in various training or leadership development programmes, set out improvement goals or developed an action plan on how to reach your goals. Maybe you have experienced some success and changed your behaviour a bit, but eventually you return to your old ways of relating, working and thinking?

What’s going on here? You probably ask yourself: Is it because I lack willpower? Or do I have a fundamental flaw within me that just can’t be changed?

Please let me assure you that you are fine; no one doubts your willpower and you are definitely not fundamentally flawed. You are just being a human. Many of us have changes we would like to make in our lives, be it for our work, our finances, our health or our relationships. But often, despite our best intentions and lots of effort, our plans for behaviour change tend to fizzle out and fade away. We just don’t seem to be able to sustain the changes necessary to reach our goals.

So, why is that? What’s in the way?

Dr. Robert Kegan and Dr. Lisa Lahey, who have been research and practice collaborators for over 30 years in the field of Adult Learning and Professional Development at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, identified that something is working inside us that resists the changes we seek. This resistance is so strong, so adaptive, and so systemic that Dr Kegan and Dr Lahey liken it to a finely tuned immune system and they call it the “Immunity To Change™”. “The mind, like the body, has its own immune system”, say Kegan and Lahey, “and such an immune system has its purpose – to protect us from the psychological trauma and danger that sudden changes can bring.” Unfortunately, the same system meant to protect us can also inadvertently prevent us from making changes that are supposed to have a positive impact on our lives. More often than not, even the mere prospect of change can be enough to trigger our internal defence system, causing us to unknowingly sabotage our best efforts almost before we even get started.

So, what can we do about this immune system of the mind?

 

Overcoming Our Immunity To Change™

Dr. Kegan and Dr. Lahey have developed an Immunity to Change™ Mapping Process in which the objective is to pinpoint and address whatever beliefs and assumptions, undermine our intentions and block us from making the changes we want to achieve.

The process of creating an Immunity to Change™ Map is a simple way to bring to light our personal barriers to change and understand how we are unwittingly working against realising our personal aspirations. It starts by outlining your commitment to an improvement goal. Then the process is accomplished via a set sequence of reflective questions, which the participants respond to, one at a time, on a specially designed worksheet, followed by a debriefing with a partner and headlines from the facilitator.  At the end of the process, you will be able to create your personal map of “Immunity To Change” which relates to your specific improvement goal.

Once you have uncovered your “immunity To Change”, you can detach yourself from it — really take a good look at it from a distance, and move forward to find strategies to overcome it.

The process of Immunity To Change™ mapping is so effective that it is now used by many leaders and senior teams in business, governmental and educational organisations in the US, Europe and Asia. Large numbers of consultants and coaches are also adopting the process in group workshops as part of team or leadership development programmes, and in 1-1 coaching sessions.

 

Bringing the Immunity to Change™ Mapping Process to Club Towers

As a leadership coach, I have found “Immunity To Change™” is an effective tool in addressing someone’s internal barriers to personal leadership development. I have recently obtained the license as a trained facilitator for “Immunity To Change™ Mapping and am privileged to be able to bring this powerful process and make it accessible to members of Club Towers.

The first series of “Immunity To Change™” Mapping workshops will take place week commencing 30th April. The workshop will consist of a 3-hour session in a group setting and a 50-minute 1-2-1 consultation session. Participants can chose to attend one of the group workshop days to go through the mapping process and create your own “Immunity to Change™ map”. Then book a 1-2-1 consultation session with Ann, within 2~3 weeks post-workshop, to go through the map and further refine it if necessary to ensure the map is powerful for you. Then proceed to discuss strategies on how to overcome your “Immunity to Change” moving forward.

It is recommended that you may want to ask a friend, colleague or partner to do the group workshop with you, to maximize the learning impact during the workshop and provide further support and continuous learning after the workshop. For individual participants, we can pair you up with a learning partner at the start of the workshop if you wish.

Group Workshop Dates: (choose one)

30 April (Monday Evening)         19:00 – 22:00

1 May (Tuesday Evening)             19:00 – 22:00

5 May (Saturday morning)           10:00 – 13:00

Book your choice of group workshop at Reception. You can book your one-to-one consultation session at the time of booking your group workshop, or contact Ann at [email protected] or 07900 492505 after the group workshop. Please note that it is required that you complete your 1-2-1 consultation within 2~3 weeks of completing the group workshop.

Price: £85 for Members; £125 for non-Members (Price includes both the 3-hour group workshop and a 50 minute one-to-one consultation).

Place: Towers Health & Racquets Club

Workshop Provider: Ann Towers Coaching/ www.anntowerscoaching.co.uk