[et_pb_section admin_label="section"] [et_pb_row admin_label="row"] [et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text"]One of the very first books that I was told to read when I joined the L&D sector was What to say when you talk to yourself by Dr Shad Helmstetter. The book discusses the internal dialogue that we generally have on a daily basis, and breaks that dialogue down into five distinct levels, before helping the reader flip hindering self-talk to helpful self-talk. This was my catalyst for learning more about self-talk. I discovered how a solution-focused mindset helps people to get results, while a problem-focused mindset hinders results.
In the year, there have been several major changes to our lives and the way we work. Our psychological and emotional contracts have been broken.As we all know, results are the key. We are all expected to get results and to do that, we need to take action. If we are not getting the right results, it follows that we need to change our actions, but that’s not always simple. People often repeat the same actions hoping for new and improved results. Einstein once said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results”. As the old adage goes, ‘if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got’.
The T.EA.R cycleIn order to generate new results, we need to take new actions. This may work in the short term, but to achieve lasting change, we also need to understand what it is driving those actions. The T.E.A.R cycle is about understanding our thinking, emotions, actions and results. Our thinking and emotions are driven by powerful electro-chemicals in our brain. If we have hindering thoughts, the electro-chemical will simply fuel our brain, meaning we take the wrong actions and thus get the wrong results. To get sustainable results, we have to change our thinking. It all starts with our own ‘self-talk’. A helpful and positive mindset is key, but what then happens when we add change? This brings a new dimension. As we go through life we generate ‘psychological contracts’ with all that we connect with – our employers, our friends, all the aspects that impact our lives. When things outside of our control then change, these contracts break and we are thrown into transition. The outside world does not match our internal picture anymore. We then suffer from a lack of ‘gestalt’ (balance). We hurtle into the change curve and within it the phases of transition. Starting with shock, we move to denial, until we reach the lowest point – the point of realisation or exploration, and ultimately the acceptance that we have to change. Our brains are not keen on change, however.
Changing your brain pathwaysIf I were to ask you to fold your arms, you would do so without thinking. It’s a subconscious action based on neurological pathways in the brain. If, however, I asked you to fold your arms in a different way, this would still be something that you could manage, although it may feel a little unnatural. The customary pathway for folding your arms is fast and strong, as you have used this path many times before. The pathway has been built over time and is strong, which makes the act of folding your arms feel ‘normal’. In that moment of folding your arms the ‘new’ way, however, you would have had to send your electro-chemicals down a pathway in the brain you have not created or used before. This can feel like hard work, and it’s why we have a negative reaction to change in the brain. When you add hindering thoughts to the picture, it becomes quite apparent that all of this will affect the results you generate, as well as your own mental health. In the last few months, there have been several major changes to our lives and the way we work. Our psychological and emotional contracts have been broken. Our self-talk will most likely have changed and for some, this will have had a significant impact on their mental health.
How can L&D help?There are two key areas of change people are now confronted with: