There is a difference between acquiring knowledge and developing skills related to that knowledge. The commitment of going from knowledge to skill requires the commitment to practice. Practicing anything repeatedly leads to fluency, which can become a way of being. We move from knowing to doing to ways of being.
To become a conscious leader who values ways of being as much as ways of ways of doing requires a commitment to practices that are often difficult and humbling. Even a skill like listening can become challenging in environments that don’t value listening. Deep listening requires practice on many levels.
Self-awareness isn’t always fun. We see all of who we are and commit to personal growth and the growing pains that come with that. I believe support is the key.
I use the words accountability and support interchangeably. Commitment, practice, and support are necessary for both personal and professional growth. Being a person and being a professional are not separate. As the phrase says; “Wherever you go, there you are”.
Transactional support is very different from transformational support. We can commit to setting goals and creating action plans for the sake of growth. We can take actions to move in the direction we desire. However, there is a shift of being required for significant change to have the power and meaning we desire.
Transform literally means to change form. This happens from the inside out. A desire for a sense of purpose, meaning, and fulfillment are inherent in wanting a change. We feel a longing for a different experience, for whatever reasons, and, if we pay attention to that, the process of growth begins. A shift in being on the inside is a prerequisite to seeing the potential trying to show itself. If that shift does not occur, even if we do create a new experience, it will feel the same as our previous one. Whatever the struggle or challenge is, the inner change is what creates the outer change.
That can all seem obvious. Intellectually most of us understand that. However, theory to practice is where the work is. Inner change comes with a world of hooks, habits, and the voices in our heads that keep us stuck in patterns that don’t serve us.
What are the elements of growth that are consistent?
Knowing what needs to change, being willing, open, courageous, trusting, and strong, and doing what we need to do to begin the change. It helps to remember that asking for help is an act of generosity, and humility is the willingness to receive.