It turns out that"Star Wars" was right...
As human beings, we all have two sides to our thinking.
A "light" side, and a "dark" side.
One side of us supports & encourages positive change. The other blocks it.
Why is this important? Because when we want to create change,
the mindset we use -- and trigger in others --
dramatically affects our results.
Our Two Basic Mindsets
Within every person are two core mindsets or ways of thinking:
One that sees us as separate from others.
Another that sees us as connected.
Each mindset guides our choices and actions in different ways.
When we try to get others to change, we are actually thinking from our separate mindset. (Our interests vs. theirs) We then use methods such as 'telling or selling' to get them to do what we want. But this often leads to resistance or conflict, because it engages the same mindset in them!
When we think with our 'connected' mindset, e.g. how will this benefit the other person?, things change. We begin listening to what others really want & need. We act from a desire to give, and look for ways to serve their best interests. Because of this, people respond from their connected mindset. They become more willing to trust us, listen and take action. And we BOTH gain as a result.
Paradoxically, without trying to change others, more mutually-beneficial change happens.
Think what happens when someone tells you what to do.
How do you react? With resistance... anger... or resentment? That's how most people feel and respond as well. So is it really wise to do this, when trying to get others to think or act differently?
A Major Shift in My Own Results & Experience
Early in my work & life, I frequently tried to change people -- and used selling, convincing or pressure to do so. While I honestly believed it was for "the right reasons" (like caring for the environment, or improving my relationships), it often led to more conflict with others (and inside of me), as well as fewer positive results.
When I shifted my thinking, my behaviour changed as well. I became more willing to:
- hear others and see from their perspective;
- look for ways to help them satisfy their needs, not just my own; and
- find ways to work together, instead of oppose/compete.
My results changed almost overnight. Relationships improved. Ideas and projects I put forward were more successful. Conflicts declined significantly. And I had significantly more peace inside.
This understanding of human nature (and the two mindsets) then became a core of my work.