Immunity to ChangeVicarious transformation suggests that one antidote to vicarious traumatization is one’s personal growth and transformation as a result of the work. Experiencing a richer appreciation of the joys of life, developing skills that allow for deeper connection with others, and finding new strengths and capabilities within one’s self all lead to feeling satisfied with the work.

Agencies can enhance job satisfaction and longevity by committing to the personal development of their staff.

A book entitled Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization By Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey ¬†(Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition February 15, 2009)¬†approaches this same concept from another direction. It starts with the premise that the challenges facing today’s companies and workers are not solved through technical learning of new skills. Instead, they demand personal transformation. Kegan and Lahey introduce a method in which a worker identifies a personal behavior he or she deeply wants to change. This goal is something that would improve his job performance immensely, and would also enhance his personal life. He may survey the people around him in developing that goal.

Then the person records behaviors that he is currently doing that are contrary to the goal.

The next step is for the worker to look at what he is currently getting from those supposedly contrary behaviors. What problem do they solve for him, what benefits do they produce for him? Symptoms as adaptations!

Then he looks at the assumptions that lie behind these actions, that fuel them. He carefully plans and implements actions to test those assumptions. Explore, don’t change!

The same process is applied to the team after the individuals have gone through it. Companies in all sectors report amazing transformations in the way they work together and the things they can accomplish after this process.

This well-written and engaging book was recommended to me by my friend Dona Hoff.

Has any one ever used this process? If so, please comment below so I can learn more about your experience of it.

This is an interesting and thought provoking book. The timing of my reading it is perfect, as I am focusing on how we can improve our treatment by attending to the development of our staff.

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