Turning thought into action


From personal experience, and in coaching others, one of the biggest challenges we face in initiating change is turning thought into action, says Hilary Jeanes of PurpleLine Consulting.

From personal experience, and in coaching others, one of the biggest challenges is turning thought into action.

Thinking things through (aloud or otherwise) is only a first step and keeps you stuck unless that thinking becomes action.  Action speaks louder than words...

Logically commitment to action or knowing the first step to take should help - but that isn't necessarily the case. Even processes like visualisation or future pacing don't help.  Action is often a leap of faith - you don't know what will happen until you take that first step.

The same is true in an organisational context.  There are some startling statistics about the number of change initiatives that fail - most of them!  The comfortable rut you are in seems much less scary than the alternative, even if you find the current situation frustrating.  To quote Tolstoy "everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."

Penelope Trunk of Brazen Careerist, says that "uncertainty is a good gift in bad wrapping paper".  In this interview she talks about how we know what we want to achieve, but put up hurdles for ourselves and how we learn by "stumbling around". How "getting up every day when things are not right and trying again" is the key to achieving our goals.

Having support to keep you on track is critical, for example a group of people facing the same challenges.  That's where a coach can be invaluable - checking out your commitment to the change you say you want to make, challenging your thinking and holding you accountable for actions you say you want to take.

This excellent article identifies some practical steps for individuals, teams and organisations to take to make things happen.  And if you scroll through the comments you will find RUMBA, an alternative to SMART, as a means of delivering the action plans you set yourself.

If you are contemplating turning thought into action and want to find out if you're committed to it, get in touch.  Contact me on 01763 245323 or by email to Hilary@PurpleLineConsulting.co.uk.

Hilary Jeanes is a leadership coach, facilitator and HR Consultant.  Her business, PurpleLine Consulting, supports people to realise their potential.


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Working with you to realise your potential at work by

- getting clear about your strengths and aspirations
- increased confidence and self belief
- identifying and securing your ideal job
- supporting you to thrive and enjoy your life.

Leadership and career coaching for individuals.
Coaching & mentoring for HR leaders and practitioners.
Coaching senior leaders in isolated roles.
Coaching individuals to design the life you'd love on retirement.
Meeting and workshop facilitation.

Hilary Jeanes (trading as PurpleLine Consulting Limited)