Managing Change — this time it’s personal!

Managing Change -- this time it's personal!

Change Management – – this time it’s personal


When you feel unconfident, it can be hard to either remember or imagine times when you are confident.  It can be hard to think that where you are now, what you are feeling – will ever change.

I have, however, worked with many people who HAVE made this change successfully


I have also worked a lot with companies who want to make changes but either can’t get them started – or, once started – can’t sustain them.


And there are many similarities in the two sets of situations.  After all, change is change whether you work for a company or work with your horses.


I went to a Round Table discussion on change the other day:  several people experienced in large and small scale changes sharing stories, views and thoughts.

We started by exploring what, in our view, had been MISSING when people tried to make changes – what were the gaps?

One of the biggest gaps was in Knowledge:

–          Knowing how to do the change:  what needed to change, and how to do it
Do you know how to be confident?  Do you know which behaviours will lead to confidence – -and how to learn them?
Do you know what particular pieces of knowledge will help you become confident?

This is where using confidence scoring and confidence mapping can be a real help – and then, once you know WHAT you want to work on, you can find a coach to help you discover HOW to work on them.


–          Knowing what we need to let go of
Sometimes becoming confident means we need to let go of certain behaviours, people and activities that were great when we were unconfident but now are not helping our new confident selves….  knowing what we need to let go of, and what to replace it with is key to making a change


–          Knowing what other things around us need to change to support the new choices
I have touched on this in previous posts – but sometimes the environment we are in, and people we are around, aren’t the best ones to support our new, confident selves.  One thing I had to do was change my riding partners – and I now hack out and trail ride with different people: one who respect when I say “doing this puts me outside my comfort zone” and help me find ways to bring it back INTO my comfort zone instead of pushing me to do it anyway.



Great – so we have identified some big knowledge gaps.    What can we do about them?

Interestingly, we all know how to fix some knowledge gaps: if we want to learn science, we find a science teacher or read science books;  if we want to learn carpentry we study with a carpenter


But very few of us even THINK of going to a “change coach” when we are thinking of making a change.


Businesses are just starting to get into this – realising that having a coach or advisor who knows, not necessarily about their particular business, but about CHANGE – can make the difference between a hope or dream – and a realised business vision.


On a personal level – many of us will have riding lessons for our technique, groundwork lessons, stable management lessons – but very few of us will invest in knowing about OURSELVES and how WE can make a CHANGE that will be easy and sustainable.


That’s what this blog is about – sharing the knowledge so you know what is possible, what is out there….


And that is what I do – change management on a personal scale.


So, HOW do we do it?


In the Round Table event, the facilitator (who did a great job of allowing the discussion to flow while bringing things to a summary at the end – great leadership!)  pulled our very divergent discussion on this question together at the end into a great diagram which I think reflects what I do with my clients – and what we can do with ourselves – to maximise our change:


First we have to have a VISION:  where do we want to be?  What is our desired outcome?

Without this, we have no direction – and very little motivation.

In business we talk of having SMART goals:  do you have a desired outcome that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely?

Having a vision of “Riding my horse out on the three mile hack around the fields by myself, both of us in our comfort zone, relaxed and calm, on a loose rein, feeling the sun on my back, hearing the birds singing – trotting whenever I want to – this August”

Is FAR more useful than a vague aim of “I want to be more confident”


The first one we can plan for, we can measure our success – and we can believe in it – the second one is not useful at all……

So – how SMART is YOUR vision?


Second, we need to think of the issue of VALIDITY:  how VALID is this change we are looking for?

Validity in the business sense is whether people BUY INTO the suggested change.

So here’s a question for you – how BELIEVABLE is your change?

If you don’t BELIEVE your change is possible and that it is WORTHWHILE – then you won’t make it or sustain it.

Now many of you are probably saying – of COURSE I want to be more confident, of COURSE I buy into that – but let’s take a minute to think about this.  There are a lot of benefits to being Unconfident:  people support you, you get lots of attention – -and you are SAFE.  When you are unconfident you can say no to things, you don’t have to think about them – people accept you as unconfident and your place and role are clearly defined….

All of this can actually make it hard to really see the value in making the effort to change.

Because change IS effort.

One of the things I work on with clients is making sure we have developed the VALIDITY of the change strongly enough that it is worth the effort – before we start the journey.

Occasionally the validity is not there:  one person was in a very stressful stage of life, lots of pressure from family and work – and the thought of putting effort into personal changes too was not appealing.  She returned her loan horse and is having a year off from horses while she focuses on these other areas of her life.  The year is almost up and she has been in touch recently, saying she is now much more ready to make the changes we talked about.

The validity test is key to actually making any changes


Thirdly, there is the “CHANGE CHARTER”:  an agreement of the way forward for the change:  well, it’s more than that – it’s everyone agreeing on everything about the change – what it is, how it will be done and what it means.

In a way in our case this is a personal “change contract:” where you decide what you will do, what you  won’t do – -and how you are going to get from where you are to where you want to be, in a way that fits with your personal values and beliefs.

That last part is important:  HOW you make your change HAS to fit with your personal values and beliefs, otherwise it won’t happen.  And it doesn’t matter what anyone else’s values and beliefs are – this is YOUR change, so it’s YOUR values and beliefs that matter…..


With this triangle in place, the change is more likely to happen – and stick around


Here’s the triangle:






What are YOUR thoughts on how all this applies to YOU?


What are YOU going to do to make progress in YOUR personal change?



Yours, in Confidence








2 thoughts on “Managing Change — this time it’s personal!

  1. “Riding my horse out on the three mile hack around the fields by myself, both of us in our comfort zone, relaxed and calm, on a loose rein, feeling the sun on my back, hearing the birds singing – trotting whenever I want to – this August”…but how did you know that is MY VERY OWN PERSONAL AIM??! (and we’re gradually getting there)

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