By Catherine Palin-Brinkworth
Okay, we know that all things are impermanent. But didn't they used to
change more slowly? Today, change is not the issue. The word that arises
everywhere is CHAOS.
A few years ago businesses were experiencing massive restructurings,
re-engineerings, and redirection. Skills and tools were needed for
response to various impacts, to help us create rather than react. But now
we're spinning faster, and the group change tools don't always seem to
work. Perhaps what's needed is an actual chaos management strategy!
Whether it's your workplace or your personal relationships; whether you
run a large organisation, a small business, a tiny team or simply your own
life - the tools you need now are for managing chaos.
1. Know the "I"
Start by considering a hurricane, or a cyclone … utter chaos, causing
great devastation. Think of the centre. Calm, peaceful, quiet. The eye.
Think of it as yourself. You may not be able to stop or even control the
wind and the noise around you. But you can retain your own centre. Find
your strength, your capabilities, your power and your value, and stand
quietly in your own ability to respond to each situation with courage and
wisdom. We all have it. We just forget it sometimes when the winds of
change are howling around us.
2. Know What Matters
"The first rule of success, and the one that supersedes all others,
is to have energy. It is important to know how to concentrate it and focus
it on the important things, instead of frittering it away on trivia."
The most powerful thing you can do at any moment is re-focus. What do
you want to achieve? Why is this important?
3. Nurture your network
No man is an island, nor a woman either. We operate best when
interdependent. Not leaning, but supported. It may be time to re-value
family, to re-assess social contacts, to re-energise team consciousness in
the workplace. One of the keys to managing chaos is the ability to tap
into support facilities. Productivity almost invariably increases when we
delegate, leverage and pull together.
4. Courage to tell the truth
This may not be so for you, but for many people an enormous amount of time
and energy is wasted in developing and maintaining the mask. There's no
time any more to do that - have you noticed? It's time for 'empowerment'
(the CPB word for claiming your own power, rather than grabbing it from
5. Learn to live with less
This is a strange concept for many of us in business who have spent much
of our working lives running after 'more'. When life moves fast, the less
baggage we have to carry the better. Travelling light - in many ways -
becomes more effective.
We're discovering that a simpler life can be a lot less stressful. Not
to decry wealth and its pleasures - just to eliminate the desperate
struggle for it!
6. Rejoice regularly
A behavioural researcher visited a kindergarten. "How many of you can
sing," he asked? All hands went up. "How many of you can
paint?" Again all hands were proudly thrust in the air. "And,
how many can dance?" "Me, me, me," was the answer. The
researcher asked the same questions in a university lecture hall.
"How many of you can sing?" Two hands. "How many of you can
paint?" Not one. "And how many can dance?" Fingers were
pointed at others, with comments and laughter, but not one claimed the
ability. What happened? Why did we forget, or decide our own
self-expression was not good enough? It's just about a joyful release of
stress hormones - good for the mind, the soul and the body.
7. Choose care over fear
I first learned it from Marianne Williamson, who wrote the beautiful words
Nelson Mandela used in his inaugural address. There are only two
fundamental emotions - love and fear. Anything that isn't one is the
other. Until recently, we didn't talk about this in the corporate arena.
Now we know, tough love builds good teams, and chaos is exacerbated by
fear. This is not about being soft and gooey - you know that. It's about
finding a way to address issues head on with an intelligent mix of courage
commitment and compassion.
Chaos is inevitable. In the sense that perturbation is evolutionary,
it's also desirable. But managing it is essential. It's no use for any of
us to hope that someone else will do it. Do you have your own personal
strategies in place?
About the author: Catherine Palin-Brinkworth is
an international presenter, consultant and author on business and personal
success strategies. She holds a Masters Degree in Social Ecology and is a
Certified NLP Practitioner.
A powerful, inspirational presenter with practical and
proven success skills and strategies, Catherine is in constant demand as a
keynote speaker. Her web site is www.catherinepalinbrinkworth.com