During changing times, many people, leaders especially, find it hard to let go of the learnt ‘control’ behaviours that have brought them success in the past. Moving away from such behaviours towards new ones isn‘t easy. ‘Change support’ can help greatly. It offers people at all levels methods by which they can:
- work effectively and productively with change, to achieve workable outcomes they can live with
- use everyday psychological processes in a constructive way, to develop different leadership styles and organisational behaviours
The use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is one way of doing this. It emphasises personal and team values by encouraging people and teams to behave both consistently and in a way that reflects their values. In this way, ACT aims to:
- advance psychological flexibility
- help maximise everyone’s potential
- enhance vitality and reduce suffering
Aligning everyone’s goals
ACT has been used to help people and organisations during times of change and also as an ongoing part of employee wellbeing and engagement activities. It aligns individual and team values with organisational goals. It also recognises the distress and emotional disturbance that often comes with change. But it doesn’t have a great title, does it? However, the acronym ‘ACT’ summarises the approach well:
Accept your reactions and be present
Choose a valued direction – do what matters
Together these build psychological flexibility. It is very valuable for individuals involved in and affected by change. ACT looks at a person’s character traits and behaviours to help develop a coping style. It addresses issues such as: how committed you are to making changes? And how do you stick to your commitments and goals?
It is not an antidote to emotional disturbance and pain. It is not about avoidance. Rather, by encouraging value-driven action, it both helps build acceptance and enhances personal effectiveness in difficult moments, such as when your job is insecure or when specific job demands are made. Perhaps for greater speed against tightening deadlines?
Such circumstances can leave you feeling you’re not good enough or are being coerced. You can also feel unsettled about the future. When many people and teams start to feel like this it has a destructive effect on an organisation’s productivity. It can estrange people from both the organisation and the team.
ACT has been shown to help individuals and teams in these circumstances. For instance, it can alter feelings as in the examples below:
|I’m not OK||I’m OK; you’re OK|
|Defensiveness and feeling threatened||Openness and curiosity|
|Stuck, rigid and reactive||In touch with emotions; able to manage emotions|
|Harshly self-critical and, generally, judgemental of others||Self-acceptance; acceptance of others|
ACT enhances wellbeing by overcoming such negative thoughts and feelings. It starts by using meditation or ‘Mindfulness’ for a short time every day (see previous blog post). This post provides hints and tips to help you try mindfulness out. You can see the blog post here: http://mwrconsulting.co.uk/?p=9139
Anyone can learn Mindfulness. It’s simple yet challenging. And you can do it anywhere and at any time – the results have been shown to be life changing.
Please get in touch with Marjorie Raymond, on 07779 345 499, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to talk about ACT and Mindfulness.
Reach us at 07779 345 499, email@example.com
T: 07779 345 499
We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.
Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:
- Certified ACT practioner
- Support if you are being bullied, or have a member of your organisation who has made a bullying complaint
- Certified Mediation practioner, to address workplace conflict,
- Personal development activities
- Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
- Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
- Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
- Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations
- Special projects, secondments and assignments