Dancing With Change – Step Six

The steps of learning to dance with change:

One: Accept that which cannot be changed.

Two: Choose—will you dance or sit this one out?

Three: Determine how much of this new dance you already know.

Four: Determine your role—Lead or Follower?

Five: Focus on learning the new dance.

Step Six is:

Start with the frame—it’s everything.

In the dance community, you will often hear the term “frame” passionately discussed. According to Wikipedia, “Frame is the body shape maintained by dancers during partner dancing. Specifically, frame refers to the shape of the upper body of the dancers relative to the rest of the dancer’s body and the body of the dancer’s partner.”

When dancers have the frame right, the dance is easier to do and looks much better to those watching.

What a frame is to a dancer, frame of mind is to you when you’re dancing with change. Frame of mind is the spirit with which you approach the change relative to both your internal mind-set as well as the position you take with the rest of your team.

When you have the right frame of mind, the change is easier to make and looks much better to those who are observing (like your boss!).

Frame of mind is a choice.  No one can make you feel a certain way emotionally without you allowing it to happen.

One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last 20 years: we can choose the way we think.

Martin Seligman, Learned Optimism

A key challenge in implementing change is that those who came up with the idea for the change (Team A) usually have great enthusiasm for it while those who had it thrust upon them (Team B) do not. In fact, anyone on Team B who shows any enthusiasm at all for the idea is often treated as an outcast.

This situation is the sweet spot for a changepreneur™.

Are you a changepreneur™ or a “go along with the crowd” person? The former reaps untold opportunities and successes; the latter stays within a tight box, often one of dissatisfaction.

changepreneurn: someone who identifies opportunities within change, applies the necessary action to advance his/her ideas and assumes accountability for the inherent risks and outcomes.

Here is the frame of mind of a changepreneur™:

  • I know there’s opportunity in this change. I’ll keep looking until I find it.
  • What’s the empirical data versus the stories that are flying around?
  • The “powers that be” wouldn’t have made this change unless they thought it would be good for the company. Where did they see opportunities?
  • I wish this hadn’t happened but it did, so now what’s my strategy?
  • What do I need to do differently in order to succeed within this change?
  • What do I need to learn?
  • Where can I be of service?
  • What unique talent(s) or knowledge do I have that might be useful?
  • What’s possible that maybe no one else has thought of?
  • What will senior management or my customers be looking for that I can provide during this change?
  • How can I have some fun with this?

The old adage, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” could have been written specifically to describe changepreneurs™.  They are the people who are always looking for the silver lining in every cloud. They are those “lucky” individuals who consistently land on their feet.  They seem to always be in the right place at the right time.

The Law of Attraction dictates that you get more of what you focus on. When you look at the frame of mind of a changepreneur™ versus a “go along with the crowd” individual you can see how well changepreneurs™ use this universal principle to its full advantage.

Frame is everything.  The attitude you bring to change dictates how the dance will go. Whether it’s a low-key change reminiscent of the Viennese Waltz or a fast-paced one like the Lindy Hop, dancing well with change requires the right frame of mind.

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