21 Jun Have you changed your story?
This blog applies as much to those who have bought my best-selling book Emotional Judo®, as to those who are still to read it. It is as applicable to personal relationships as much as it is to the workplace. And in fact, this is an important concept for organisations undergoing change.
I was recently coaching a mid-level manager in a tech organisation. We were talking about his career prospects, his eight-year tenure with his current organisation, which he loves, and what might need to happen for him to get to the career role he covets.
This prompted him to talk about his CV and he suggested he needed to dust off his old CV and add what he had done in the last eight years.
I have had this conversation with many coachees and training participants over the years because it occurred to me when I was “brushing up” my own CV a long time ago, that I was not the same person I was when I wrote the original. Simply adding my most recent experience was not reflective of who I had become as a result of the experience.
How does that analogy relate to my book?
Emotional Judo®: Communication Skills to Handle Difficult Conversations and Boost Emotional Intelligence, uses the metaphor of real judo, which means the “gentle way” in Japanese.
Real judo was developed to achieve maximum efficiency with minimum effort; a smaller judoka (judo participant) with the right skills uses leverage to beat a bigger opponent.
Emotional Judo® provides ten “invisible” structures to help you achieve maximum efficiency with minimum effort. In other words, you achieve better outcomes when dealing with difficult people and delicate or important conversations. Having the right skills can help you say what you need to say even in the face of conflict. The right skills can help you keep your cool and speak with tact and diplomacy. Or they can help you manage people who may present as difficult.
A real judoka who learns the skills to be able to defend him/herself in any situation will grow in confidence, composure, and capacity. And that’s what can happen for you as you start to master the skills of Emotional Judo®.
It is not simply a group of skills; it is transformative.
But, sometimes we need to be reminded that the story that we hold of ourselves has changed. Just like the CV example, we are not simply the same people with a few more skills, we have become different people.
It is also important for organisations to think of this idea when they are implementing change, especially if they have long term employees. If the organisation is not standing still – if it is growing and evolving – then the staff are not even working for the same company they started with, let alone the changes they will have made within themselves as individuals.
As a narrative psychologist, working with individuals or groups, I have found this one of the most important concepts of lasting change. If the original story has not been transformed, people can often find a path back there at the first hint of a challenge.
If you have read the book, take a moment to think who you have become as a result. Or perhaps even create a whole new CV.
If you haven’t read it and would like to transform your communication effectiveness, the e version is only AU $3.99 on Amazon and you can read it on any device. Emotional Judo®: Communication Skills to Handle Difficult Conversations and Boost Emotional Intelligence.