Diagnosing Our Immunity to Change
Why do we find it so hard to change? Think of all your New Year’s resolutions that remain unfulfilled or your gym membership that goes unused because you find it so hard to change your old ways.
What stops you changing—or as Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey ask it in their book “Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself”, what is the root cause of your immunity to change? Kegan and Lahey claim that most of the time we are unaware of the “one big thing” that stops us changing. They say that we have to dig deep into our unconscious mind to discover the source of the problem. The authors provide us with a handy-dandy tool they call “The Immunity to Change X-Ray”, which helps us work through the process.
They also provide some pretty convincing examples of people who discover their “one bit thing”. One example is of a senior executive who found it impossible to delegate—in fact he was a micro manager. After working with the “Immunity to Change X-Ray” process it became clear that his unwillingness to let go was based on his deep seeded conviction that you should never ask other people to do your work for you as it is a sign of laziness. That was his “one big thing”. Once he became aware of this he was able (with some coaching help) to re-frame his thinking about delegation and view it as a way to free himself up to do the work that only he could do. Our recommendation: read this book; it will make you think about change at a deeper level, and who knows, you may discover your own “one big thing”!