“Nothing changes until you do.”
~Source Unknown

Clients ask us to help them change. Well, actually they usually ask us to help them change others, or circumstances, or their luck. And that change is impossible. Or at least it’s not the most effective focal point.

I’ve learned, and I share, that the only thing we truly can change is ourselves. We can wish things were different; we can tell our boss what we want; we can lay out our expectations as clearly as possible before our direct reports (or our family members). However, we simply cannot make them change, and we lose precious energy when we put our focus there. In fact, by waiting for them to change, we perpetuate the situation by simply giving up and doing nothing to move things forward. We help keep things as they are.

Years ago I was hired to coach a team leader, because the team just couldn’t seem to get along, and perhaps even more important, they continued to miss deadlines and goals. The team leader complained about the lack of skills amongst her team members. She criticized her boss’s direction. She declared that she was doing everything she could, and it was up to everyone else to finally pitch in and contribute. Until I challenged her one week. “What if you look for what’s working? What if you just try that one thing?” I offered. “What if you change this one small aspect that is under your control? What if you just try that and see what happens?”

She did. And to her surprise, it worked. Her simple behavior change, the slight attitude shift, changed dynamics throughout the team. Conversations were started, issues were discussed, and within not too much time, goals were achieved. Because she had changed. And her change led to a change in others.

Look at the place where you feel most stuck, most like you need things to change, and find a change you can make yourself. See what happens.

Where do you need to change? What do you need to change?
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