Change: ‘I Don’t Feel Anything’

Monkey SmallI remember teaching a Tai Chi energizer in a workshop a while ago and one of the participants said, ‘I don’t feel anything’.

This took me by surprise as she had only practiced the technique for less than two minutes. Rather than get involved in justifying or trying to convince her of the validity of technique I nodded, smiled, shrugged my shoulders and said, ‘Okay, just keep practicing’.

It’s happened before. In another session, a fellow stopped practising after a minute because he couldn’t feel any change at all.

Reflecting on those experiences, there seems to be a tendency for some people to think ‘change’ should happen almost immediately. Just like quick serve cereal –  pop it into a microwave and voilà, instant cereal in less than two minutes. And as far as ‘transformational change’ goes? Well,  just add another minute and voilà again.

In Tai Chi we practice the Tai Chi form slowly so we can not only experience a physical, emotional and psychological change but also, eventually, a ‘transformational change’ involving our Chi (energy) . Rushing through this process – expecting instant results – is self-defeating and a waste of time.

Just as with my own practice with Tai Chi, I feel individuals and decision makers in organisations who want to experience a truly transformational change need to invest in the time it takes to be successful. Short cuts will simply get you back to where you started and then the ‘blame game’ begins; obviously unhealthy for morale and the Chi of the organisation.

So next time you invest in a change process, give it more time – enough time to “feel” the process properly and embed the change more deeply. Only then will you achieve the change you want.

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