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The events of the past ten months (both internal and external) have had a tremendous impact on my team. Drastic reduction of staff followed by loosing a hotel, moving office space and eliminating our Director position has left us/me unclear on what is expected and what to expect. I would love to hear more on navigating change to help the team through this process and to an even better position of strength and certainty.

Thank you, Floyd, for this deep and rich question. Navigating change under “normal” circumstances can be challenging. Navigating change these past 15 months has presented us with more opportunities than I think any of us could have imagined. Personally speaking, every day has felt like a new adventure in the land of the unknown. And it’s not over yet. Though there are many places to point to that may be helpful. I want to start with this one. In my office, I keep on my wall and the four steps to learning. It’s on my wall because I have been noodling on it with hopes of creating a teachable tool with it. Thanks to this past year, I believe that we are always moving between these 4 steps, especially as we navigate the unknown of change. Below is my brief overview of the process.

Here we go: Looking through the lens that life is in a constant state of change whether we are consciously aware of it or not – consider the following. We are always learning or in a place to become aware of what we don’t know. Consider a child learning to walk.

Step One – Unconscious Incompetence – This is the place where I don’t know what I don’t know. (unaware) A baby doesn’t know that it is supposed to walk.

Step Two – Conscious Incompetence – I now know that I don’t know (awareness begins)The baby becomes aware of an expectation for walking.

Step Three – Conscious Competence – I know that I need to learn and practice. The willingness to change through intentional study and practice to gain confidence and mastery. (active conscious awareness) The baby begins to walk – wobbly, the baby falls, gets back up, practices the steps to walking. 

Step Four – Unconscious Competence – I know what I know, and it is automatic or second nature. I may even be able to teach it to others. (unconscious awareness)The baby walks and soon begins to run. Begin with the awareness (Step Two) that we can’t know what we don’t know (Step One). Being alive means that we are in a constant state of change of things we have no control over or awareness of. It is the place to pause and breathe and release the “somehow I should know” voice in your head.

Breathing, by the way – usually, a Step Four activity. However, if you were to become aware that there are many different ways to use breath and breathing skills to consciously improve your life, you would move back to Step Three or maybe even Steps One or Two.

The RESET, if you will, is to ask yourself what stage you are in when the change takes place. What are you becoming aware of? What do you already know? What do you need to know, and how much are you willing to learn in the process.2020 made us aware of much we didn’t know. It also reminded us of what we do know.

Change is an invitation. We have the choice to accept it or not.

Mary Elizabeth Murphy
Founder S.T.A.R. Resources, LLC/Community
Author RESET Your Buttons