Liz and I moved into our new home and office last week and to say that its been an emotional journey is an understatement. The rain basically started as the removalists were unloading the trucks last Friday and hasn’t stopped. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll realise that the last few months have been a little ‘light on’ in my usual number of articles.
It’s only been just over a week now, and it’s quite fascinating how quickly we’ve adjusted to our new home. Even our dog Buddy. I had to affix a new doggie door to our back door for the dog to be able to enter and leave when he feels like it (if you’re not a dog owner that won’t probably make sense). Anyway, it took the dog all of 5 repeated entrances and exits through his new doggie door, before it became a habit. Now, even when our sliding door is open onto our back verandah, which provides open access to our back yard, the dog still uses his own doggie door to enter and exit.
For some people change isn’t as easy as it seems to have been for our dog Buddy.
One of my favourite theories of human behaviour is Deci’s and Ryan’s (2000) Self-Determination Theory. Without going into detail here, basically their research is based on three basics needs of humans. The need for autonomy (the degree to which you believe you can make decisions and take actions based on your own choices); The need for Competence (the degree to which you believe you have the capacity to ‘master’ or be in control of your life… sometimes referred to as self-efficacy); and the need for Relatedness (the degree to which you feel you have supportive relationships in your life).
When you consider these three basic needs, when a person feels that all three are being met, their ‘self-determination’ allows them to better handle whatever changes happen in their lives. They are more likely to be intrinsically driven to set, pursue and achieve meaningful goals, and all of this helps build their capacity to live more happy, flourishing and prosperous lives.
So in this brief post (as I’ve got to get back to unpacking boxes), take a moment to rate yourself in your level of self-determination, by completing the following mini-self-assessment:
1. To what extent do you believe you have autonomy in your work and personal life (the degree to which you believe you can make decisions and take actions based on your own choices and not compelled to do so by others?)
2. To what extent do you believe you have the competence to master your environment, be in control of your work and personal life and whatever life deals you?
3. And finally, to what extent do you believe you have the relationships you need to support you in living a happy, flourishing and prosperous life?
If you’re a leader looking to help your people be more proactive with change, more resilient and more engaged in their work, (or if you’re looking to take more control of your own life), consider what you might start, stop or continue to positively impact these three basic needs either in yourself, or if you’re a leader within your team.
Who knew that building a doggie door could provide such a lesson in living a more happy, flourishing and meaningful life.
PS… don’t forget, I always welcome your feedback and if you’d like to have me present at your next conference, I’d welcome the referral or call me at my Sydney office on 02 9546 2492.