HOW MANY TIMES have you had “one of those days”?
You know, when it seems as if everything at work changed overnight? There are new initiatives, a new set of procedures to learn, new colleagues to get to know, a new office location to become familiar with and it just goes on!
The challenges that arise from change are common. Every time we turn around, it seems something else is changing and we feel pressured to keep up. Do you carry your Smartphone everywhere and take working vacations? Instead of relaxing at night, do you use your laptop to catch up even more?
If this sounds like you, you may feel burned out, overworked and overwhelmed. The good news is that you can create “Personal Stability Zones” to help you manage the change in your work and your life as well.
Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock, presented the concept of Personal Stability Zones that increase our ability to feel safe, secure, and calm. These are the buffers we need to recharge and refuel us during change.
What are These Zones?
- People offer you a relaxing, restful atmosphere when you’re with them. They have values, interests or experiences similar to yours. They could be a spouse, best friend, parent, colleague or co-worker.
- Places provide somewhere to go to feel safe. Home is one places of refuge but it also be large in scale like a beach, city or mountains or much smaller in scale like a specific room.
- Things can also comfort as a favorite possession like your old teddy bear or a well-loved book or family heirloom, or pictures or favorite clothes that make you feel good.
- Ideas could be anything from religious faith and political ideology to deeply held beliefs or values (such as environmental protection, humanitarian concerns, etc.)
- Organizations or groups that you identify with and where you feel welcome such as a favorite club, professional group, or even your company.
How To Make It Work For You!
Start by thinking of some options for each Zone listed above. Use the following questions to narrow down the Zones most useful for you:
- How stable are your Zones? On a scale of 1 (low) – 5 (high) give them a stability rating. Which may be here today and gone tomorrow and which ones are the most stable?
- How many of your Zones can be influenced by you? To what extent are these zones – people, places, thing, and so on under your control?
- Which Zones should you spend more time nourishing and growing to have a greater benefit to you? Also are there some that you may want to let go of or lessen your time and energy?
Our world seems to change faster every day. Managing this change as a leader can make you feel stressed and overwhelmed. This is why having familiar, safe personal stability zones can be so important for your well-being and the well-being of your organization.
Are you a leader in an organization that is going through substantial change? If so, take a look at another of my Articles; Change Management Lessons From Dr. Seuss.
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