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Friday, March 29, 2013

Things Always Change

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Things Always Change -  Steve Wickham

Have you ever wondered why you couldn't work out in your own mind how or why a situation worked out the way it did? For some reason that 'something' or life situation turned out a particular way that you least expected. A situation that started well, ended not so well, or, a situation that promised little, actually came to pass as you perhaps would have first hoped. It is confusing and perplexing at times living in this world and relating with other human beings; beings with such wide and contrasting perceptions of the world they see, and that we do not share.
In one of my roles in life I am a facilitator and catalyst for promotional projects involving safety. Safety, you would think, is something that we could easily motivate people about. People die every year because they did something unsafe, and the challenge for safety is to motivate people to live so this doesn't happen-to them or their loved ones, or there peers for that matter.
Recently I was tasked with organising an external emergency service agency to come to the organisation I work for and deliver some life-saving information about safety in the home. The subject was responding to a home fire, and saving the lives of family.
The thing I didn't expect to begin with was a relative tardiness from the agency concerned. It was like pulling teeth to facilitate the planning process, and it took more than enough phone calls and e-mails to reach a point where we were ready to deliver. It was both mildly frustrating and a little bemusing seeing this particular organisation react to a non-core business operation. (I wonder though whether this is changing as prevention becomes a better byword than cure.) Added to the delays and tardiness was a general disconnect between two quite disparate branches of the organisation; one operational-focussed, the other more academically-geared-with the role of community education. Both had negative perceptions of the other, and one of the departments didn't waste time letting me know.
When we were planning kick-off I popped around the corner and caught up with the guy who was tasked (albeit reluctantly) with the delivery of these safety prevention sessions. It was clear to me instantly on meeting this guy that it was the personal touch that was needed all along. I had been referred to as Mr. W on all correspondence and simply meeting and shaking hands with him facilitated some warmth.
That was two weeks ago. I find it amazing now that I have a real rapport with this guy and that we share a genuine and deeper-than-superficial respect now. This is after he and I had had at least six verbal conversations, either over the phone or face-to-face, and at least two of these interactions involved working together for a common goal, in trying conditions-in "delivery".
So, when did things change? I thing they began changing from the first face-to-face meeting where I was able to display empathy and positivity. It also helped that we related personally-more for him than for me, but that was what was needed.
Developing relationships is generally not hard. They require commitment, discipline to place the other's needs at least as importantly as your own, consistent and sustained effort, and also feedback. The trouble is we don't always see the need to establish relationships-I know I don't. I'm constantly reminded to spend time building my relationships and it can be irritating at times hearing this from either my conscience, or from my manager, or anyone else for that matter. For me, not working on the relationship is usually due to apathy, not fear. Perhaps there are other causes too?
I am sure that the fact that we delivered sessions together in front of a group of people symbolised working together and reliance on each other. We supported each other and there was evidence of this. These sorts of circumstances produce trust as a result of faithfulness-both parties reliable for the other.
On one of these occasions, yesterday in fact, as we were about to commence the session, the guy I'd been working with got an emergency call and next thing you know there are sirens blaring and he and his team are off to fight a fire. Panic could have set in as we were without a speaker, but common sense prevailed and we went to Plan B. Isn't it great when you have enough faith to trust that it will all work out okay in any event? As it happened they were back without much ado and the session went well-what was tested was his and my burgeoning relationship-the embryonic organism of trust. We trusted each other and worked for each other. The reward was a stronger rapport.
The point is things change. People change. They always do. For better or for worse things inevitably change. We cannot stay the same. Situations cannot stay as they are-there are just too many variables, and too many things to keep constant. As we relate to our contexts (our reactions to what we see) we have to change as a result of our experience. Our perceptions change and eventually so do our values, the latter a latent effect. This is why people grow together or grow apart.
So what? What am I saying? I'm saying that change happens and particularly over time; wait two months in some situations and the people have changed-once they were opposed to a concept or idea, but with various things inevitably different, they are more predisposed to change their mind through a change of heart. People often say about new ideas, "Oh, that won't work-it was tried two years ago!" Then it works, and they are left feeling amazed, confused, even annoyed. Things simply changed. And that's the truth.
It's about having the wisdom and restraint to wait; having more of long-term or eternal perspective on things and 'owning' things less. So don't give up on a good thing. Be patient; try it again later; think on it; pray about it. This simply means asking advice about it from God. It is about reflecting on it and trying to see the issue from all perspectives.
What is reliable? - Change.
Steve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BSc) and a qualified Christian minister (GradDipDiv). His passion in vocation is facilitation and coaching; encouraging people to reach their potential. Steve's interest in psychology is matched by years of experience in the psychology of safety in workplaces. Steve's key passion is work / life balance and re-creating value for living. An advocate for a fair and just life, Steve implements wisdom strategies to his life through a passion for Proverbial wisdom. His highest goal is doing God's will, in enhancing his life, and the lives of others. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Wickham  Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/848100

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