The Immunity-To-Change™ process (ITC) is the core of the coaching work that I do. Whether you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, manage your time more effectively, or be a better boss or co-worker, ITC has a lot to offer.
As the name implies, people develop psychological “immunities” to changing things that some part of their brains believes will put them in danger. For example:
A teacher wants to make his course more rigorous in order to better prepare his students, but fails to accomplish it because having his students “like” him is more important to him than the rigor. Try as he might, he finds himself stuck. He lays out the course requirements and grading standards. They are tough, but fair. They are designed to lift students to the next level of competence. As the course proceeds and once he sees his students struggle and hears them complain about “how hard he is,” he gives way and makes things easier for them. The bottom line: he feels as if he has failed the students and himself and they didn’t learn as much as they might have.
The story above plays out in daily life for most of us. Often the stuckness is something that we can “work around” rather than addressing, correcting and moving on:
– The corporate manager/leader who can’t seem to “fix” the things that keep hindering his effectiveness
– The overweight person who cannot change his relationship with food so that he does the yo-yo dieting over and over again
– The person who has repeatedly been determined to get into shape only to pay the gym initiation fee and monthly contract only to lose the motivation to use the membership
Although many of these goals seem simple manageable enough, competing goals can be completely hidden or well disguised. You can be staring right at them and not truly see them for what they are. They can seem very reasonable, sometimes even noble, which only makes them harder to recognize as problems.
Immunity-To-Change™ work identifies your system of thinking about your goal. It doesn’t dismantle it, which would only leave you with a bunch of pieces. Rather, it highlights the various components of the system and accentuates their inter-relatedness. It allows you to see that you have one foot on the gas while the other foot is on the break.
ITC is not a behavior change process; it is a “thinking” change process. Changing the assumptions that you make about your life and the world around you will change how you behave and interact with the world in a sustainable way.
Losing 25 pounds, for example, is the result of behavior change. You eat less food overall. You eat less high-calorie, low-value food. You exercise more. Etc. But, unless you change how you think about food, your assumptions about eating, etc., you will likely see that behavior replaced by your old one and all that weight will be back within 2 years.
It is very difficult to sustain your behavior change without changing the thinking that drives it. Some of that “thinking” is hidden from you. ITC aims at just that thinking.
The Immunity-To-Change process involves:
- Identifying your goal (sometimes more difficult than you would think)
- Building a map of your immune system that is keeping you from accomplishing your goal
- Honing your map
- Surveying those around you about your goal and your “stuckness” (an option)
- Creating a Continuum of Progress (how you will see yourself progressing)
- Writing a biography of your Big Assumptions
- Safely testing your Big Assumptions
- Fully testing your Big Assumptions
- Follow-up survey (if necessary)
- Identifying Hooks and Releases (things that might pull you back and how to release from them)
- Future Progress
The entire process involves 8-10 1-hour meetings over 8-12 weeks. At the end of our work together, you will have a fully-documented process of your work.
For more information about the Immunity-To-Change™ process and its effectiveness go to the Minds At Work website.