Within the AQai adaptability framework there is a substantial domain called Character. You may be familiar with conventional psychometric tests: these rest upon the assumption that your psychological preferences are intrinsic and fixed for all time. AQai Character is so called because you can build your Character and you can evolve it over time. Where AQai Character subdomains draw up on the psychodynamics of other psychometric measures they have been specifically refined to reflect how Character influences the motivation and response to change.
There are two central guiding principles that I constantly reference as I invite people to reflect on aspects of the Character in the AQai framework.
Understand the Personal Implications of your Default Preferences
If, for example, you are at the Introvert end of the Extrovert scale, then you are likely to find it exhausting, in the context of change, to have lots of group meetings. You will want the space to reflect on the change that’s happening. Recognising this and engaging with your managers so they understand this, will help you to respond more effectively to change.
Similarly, if you are somebody who is Play to Win rather than Play to Protect, you will be motivated by opportunity, the new things, the better things that can happen, rather than about protecting the things that are most important to you now.
In your case, you will adapt more successfully if you frame it as an opportunity to move towards better focussing on how you can hold onto what you most value.
For each of the different aspects of Character, you can understand how best to frame the change to match your personal motivations and engage with the process of change to maximise your adaptability.
For managers and leaders, there is another dimension:
Going beyond your Character Preferences to Engage All
The temptation is that you will choose to engage with stakeholders, groups and your immediate team solely through the motivations and processes that match your own Character.
To get the best out of your team, you need to recognise that different people within the team will have Character profiles which offer different motivations and different ways of engaging with change.
For team members that are high Extrovert you will find the most powerful way of engaging will be interactive, group workshops where there is plenty of space for external processing. However for high Introverts, communicating change through individually consumable media (documents, videos etc) will offer the opportunity to engage them without wearying social interaction and provide space for reflection and internal processing.
Maybe your Character is Play to Protect and so you will communicate change as an opportunity to douse the fire on the burning platform and protect those things you value, hang on to the good things that you have got, and your motivation for change is to maintain those good things. You may find it difficult to motivate individuals who are excited by the new possibilities who want to know the new benefits they are going to be able to realise.
So, you need to make sure that you understand the different kinds of character preferences across your teams and across the different parts of your organisation and then make sure that you are communicating appropriately.
That will mean that individuals with different character preferences can respond and be motivated to move forward with the change you want.
Too often, I see change programs where they only set out the company benefits: why the change matters to the business.
The benefits may be clearly articulated, but the missing dimension is helping individuals to understand what the change means for them and how it benefits them.
That failure causes resistance because, although initially people will be excited about the potential for the organisation, if they are unable to engage with what it means for them personally, if they can’t find the internal motivation to change their attitudes, behaviours and learning to move into the new world then their resistance will probably break that change initiative.
The AQai character sub dimensions help you to understand the different ways that people will respond, the opportunities and threats of change and you should use that as a clear mechanism for guiding the way that you engage individuals and team members and support them through that journey of change.