Throughout my career as a transformation professional I have had the pleasure of touching the lives of many people. There is no greater joy to see another human being transform in front of your eyes. To see their entire demeanour and energy shift when they ‘get it’ and the change drops into their whole being. When I say ‘get it’ I mean the embodied understanding of what they were learning and the insight behind it.
Now I don’t claim responsibility for creating the shift for them, that is the clients’ doing. However, I claim responsibility for creating the space where the person can have a learning experience or what I prefer to call an ‘insight experience’ an embodied understanding! When someone has that kind of an experience, it stays. It doesn’t have to be written down and remembered consciously.
Now that kind of an experience is transformational, it changes people lives, it changes communities and it changes organisations. When it comes to facilitating transformational change it is important to understand that it is relational. It’s about who we relate to, how we relate and engage with them and the quality of that relationship.
From experience, all the people I have worked with who experienced the greatest changes in their lives made that change from the inside-out, effortlessly. Change at the surface seems to be a change in thinking and in some respect it is. However, I rarely see anyone that makes those changes in a forced way, outside-in. Thinking really hard to control and change their thinking.
Here is the thing though, we can understand something intellectually like ‘I am worthy’ yet operate from an embodied ‘I am not worthy’. That is the problem with affirmations. How many people use positive sayings? They stick them on their fridges and the dashboard of their cars. They talk them out loud a million times a day. Yet the words never reach their bodies.
So what is the difference with the people who make the change? The insight is not in the words, the insight is in the space behind the words, a deeper and richer source of understanding outside the view of the intellectual mind. And generally the change occurs in that space. When the person articulates the change it shows up in their whole being. It is grounded in the way they think, feel, talk and behave. It shows up in their energy.
As a leader of change, are you thought or insight driven?
As leaders of change and transformation it is extremely useful to understand the nature of thought and the nature of the space of innate insight and clarity.
Think of a time and place when your mind was busy with stuff. When you were under pressure to perform and come up with solutions to problems. How creative were you at that moment? When in that state, how easily do great ideas come to you? How much clarity do you have?
Now think of a time and place when you have your best ideas? For some people that is in the shower, while driving or walking on the beach? The place is not that important, the space that you are in is! When you in that space, how easily do fresh ideas and solutions to problems appear, seemingly from nowhere? How much clarity do you have?
What is the difference?
The first scenario is thought driven, cognitive or intellectual thought. In this dimension of thought we are reliant on our current knowledge and understanding of how the world works. Even with a healthy level of awareness we can still get blind spotted by the illusionary nature and the busyness of our assumptive thinking.
The second scenario is insight driven. In the dimension of insight we are guided by universal wisdom. This dimension operates outside the intellectual realm of the mind. It’s like a state of flow. When we drop into this space we have access to a much richer and deeper source of creativity, ideas and insight and also wellbeing, health and connection.
Think of it this way, if you are working on a computer that is not connected to the internet you are limited by and can only access the information that is on this computer. However, being connected to the internet gives you access to information and knowledge that far exceeds that of what is stored on your computer.
What does this mean for leading transformation in a complex and uncertain world?
The majority of people and organisations are playing the game of life through the distortive dimension of thought. This is where we get can get caught up in the false reality created by our intellectual mind about the world out there. That the world out there is making use think and feel in certain ways, outside-in thinking. When our thinking is entertained by thoughts of lack, mistrust, insecurity, doubt, worry, stress, jealously, power, authority, without higher level awareness that what we are feeling is just our thoughts and not our circumstances, we get into strive. When people are governed by the misunderstandings of thought it shows up in their behaviours and quality of their relationships. It restricts their ability to perform at their fullest potential and that interferes with an organisations’ adaptability to changing environments.
Yet there is a vast potential that lies dormant and untapped. When we begin to play the game through the dimension of insight, we experience life in a new light. We have less on our mind. With that comes less interference from the noise and busyness in our heads generated by our thinking mind. Here we innately understand that thoughts are generated by our imagination, not by our circumstances, they come from the inside-out not from the outside-in. What we feel at any given moment is … thought in the moment. We now have choice to act on this thought or just let it pass. Here we experience a greater sense of grounding, wellbeing and purpose, see with greater clarity and connect easily and effortlessly with others. When people feel connected they are receptive. They open up and they collaborate. This happens at a subtle level.
The key is Leading ‘through’ … !
When we lead through the dimension of insight, we create an environment where people tap into their full potential as they step outside the restrictions of their intellectual reality. Here they are governed by innate abundance, resilience, creativity, self-reliance, joy, confidence, etc. They move through life with greater flexibility and fluency, like the flow of water.
Project this into the collective spirit of your organizational culture and you have potent capacity to transform your organisation into an innovative and sustainable entity that serves the community in meaningful ways and the endless possibilities that come with it.
The key in achieving this is leading ‘through’ the dimensions of insight, leading ‘through’ people, connection ‘through’ people. This is not a mechanical process that you force to happen. When you get the insight behind the words you will know … it will be natural and effortless!
If that resonates with you and you want to learn more about leading through the dimension of insight and tapping into the collective wisdom of your people read on or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If not, I like to thank you and I look forward to serving you with my next reflection!
to your best
About Mike Schwarzer
Mike is a Transformation Professional and an Internationally Certified Trainer in Applied Neuro Synergy & NLP with the Global Association of Applied Neuro Synergy, GAANS. An experienced facilitator and coach, with an ability to connect and align people, he helps leaders and organisations to solve the problems that they have not been able to solve elsewhere and create the results they want to achieve.