A Mindful Way Through Organisational Change



A Mindful Way Through Organisational Change 

By Kate Franklin and Fiona Gilkes.

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” 

Reinhold Niebuhr (1892 – 1971)

Over many years of working with clients though organisational change, we’ve developed a mindful coaching tool we call the Adversity Triangle, based on Acceptance, Self-care and Gratitude. Exploring these three cornerstones can help us to feel calm and in control on the inside, in spite of the turbulence happening on the outside. We often explore these questions with our clients going through big change, but they can also be used to seek calm in many different situations where you feel frustrated by something that is out of your control. Give it a try.



1. What is outside of my influence and control? (And therefore what do I need to accept?)

So often, struggle and pain is caused by lack of acceptance.  It’s part of our nature to agonise over why did that have to happen? What were they thinking? Why me?  When we are able to stop the agonising and adopt a more mindful approach about what is here and what we need to accept, it can help to calm the mind. We encourage clients to acknowledge the things that are outside of their influence or control.  Perhaps I need to accept that I can’t go back to how things were or that in light of this latest challenge, we won’t meet the goals we originally set ourselves. It might be about simply accepting that the next three months are going to be a very intense and emotional period.  In light of that clarity, then ask yourself about;


2. What do I need to do to take care of myself? (And what requests can I make of others?)

This question might lead to some clearer thinking about the need to resume regular exercise to help manage the stress and/or to find a way to get more energy by paying attention to rest, sleep and nutrition.  In moments of adversity, it’s human nature to hunker down and feel we must solve everything alone.  This question is also the reminder that it’s critical to ask for help.  A coach will push you to come up with a number of requests of others such as asking your colleagues for help, asking your partner to be more understanding or maybe asking your childminder to increase their hours temporarily to give you more space.


3. What am I grateful for? (And what am I grateful to myself for?)

The neuroscientists have proven the massive health benefits of having a regular gratitude practice. Remembering to ask ourselves this question is more important than ever during challenging times.  Even in the most scary moments, thoughts of our own good health and loved ones can bring us back to some sense of perspective and peace.  If you are feeling the (inevitable) fears of organisational change, and worrying about job security, it can be helpful to take this question one step further and ask yourself what am I grateful to myself for i.e. what did I do to create the positives? For example, reminding yourself of your personal strengths, your professional experience, your network, your strong relationships. All the things that can act as your anchor through change, untouched by the chaos.

Above all, be kind to yourself through change, and remember what we started with.

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”