Brighton Leadership Group

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Increase Change Effectiveness with Gratitude

Are you familiar with the statistic about how often organizational change efforts fail? Regardless of the reason, the reality is…change is easy to mandate but the internal transition process is hard.

One of the ways to make the change process more successful as we make the transition is to add a gratitude practice. Every day there is more change to face. Rather than fear, face change with gratitude looking for the rainbow amid the storm.

Gratitude works because of the neural pathways in our brain which result from its design to function in repeat. Think about how easy it is to dwell on the negative or how hard it is to break a bad habit. This is because those neural pathways are well-traveled.

The same can happen when we shift our brain’s focus to gratitude. Hebb’s Law states that “neurons that fire together wire together.” The more times a neural pathway is activated (neurons firing together), the less effort it takes to stimulate the pathway the next time (neurons wiring together).

This is also the science behind the idea that what we focus on expands – what we put our attention on grows. If we’re constantly looking at the negative and scanning for problems, the neural pathways for negative thinking become stronger, and focus gets fractured. When we practice gratitude, the neural pathways to see the good expand and so does our ability to use the best of our brain capacity.

It is interesting to note that our minds cannot focus on positive and negative information at the same time. The more we activate the gratitude circuits, the stronger and more automatic these neural pathways become, and the more likely we are to recognize what’s going right instead of always focusing on the problem.

During times of change, people are faced with FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) as well as change saturation (more change than they can absorb.) Gratitude is a practice that fights these forces and creates more capacity to make successful change.

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