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Tracing the Roots of Erroneous Beliefs that Pull Change Agents Back

It’s not exactly a secret that the mind is a flexible thing. To be precise, it’s flexible enough to allow us to hold different opinions about the same thing or person at different times. For instance, you may be good friends with someone- let’s call that person ‘X.’ The friendship is as deep as it is long- in that you have been friends with X for quite some time now, maybe even years.

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Erroneous beliefs may constrain you in a space of limited growth

However, you then happen to learn something about X which changes your entire view of that person. Let us assume that this new information makes you see X in a less than flattering light. So much so that you come to think of him as a stranger and not a friend anymore. In other words, your opinion about X has changed in the wake of this new information.

Now, imagine that you come upon another piece of information that changes your view of X yet again. Before, if you thought of him as more a stranger, adding this new information into the mix makes you view X as an enemy.

Advent of new viewpoints over time

In the above example, we see the mind holding three different views about X over three periods of time. From friend to stranger to enemy, the different ‘avatars’ of X in your mind literally range from one end of the relationship spectrum to another.

Almost all of us experience such scenarios in life. Maybe the shift in viewpoint maybe as dramatic as in the example above. But it’s almost impossible to go through life without experiencing a shift in perception about something or someone.

These shifts- often so subtle- rarely happen abruptly. Unlike in our example, becoming privy to new information needn’t be what brings about the shift. Looking back, there may not be a single instance to which you could point and say, “There, that was when my point of view changed.”

It may be a series of instances the accumulated force of which led to a shift in mind. These instances could be spread so much over time that it becomes all too easy to lose sight of their interconnectedness.

Viewpoints with mistaken basis

Whereas our example above concerns itself with a viewpoint in relation to one person- the person we called X- a similar process of transformation in viewpoint could happen with relation to a process or a team of people as well.

And as mentioned before, such a transformation may not be abrupt; and the sequences of events which led to a shift in mind may fade in memory over time.

The danger lurking in this situation is that often the new viewpoint- or belief, if you may- comes about not because there was a reasonable trail of information or events that warranted such a change, but because you perceived the events in an erroneous manner, making yourself believe that a shift in view is called for.

To go back to our example of X, you may have put together two instances in the wrong way, making you believe that he is actually an enemy and not a friend, when in truth, he may have been innocent all the time.

Breaking free from wrong beliefs with vision

When change agents become victims of such an erroneous perception, they prevent themselves from progressing, thinking that partaking in something that will benefit them would be bad for them. This perception- of something being bad could have been born from a reading situation the wrong way in the past.

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This makes them close-minded to new experiences, which is the antithesis of learning, and continual learning is a prerequisite for growth of change agents in any stage of their life.

The Clean Slate session is one which helps you trace pathways in the mind, to see how beliefs were formed in your mind- beliefs that guide your actions in an organization. This way, you could uproot the erroneous views and proceed with confidence, with less mental baggage.

This session forms of part of the Temenos Vision Lab- a unique lab conceived and conducted by Temenos+Agility which helps change agents realize their True Personal Vision. Developed based on 25 years of business consultancy experience and Incorporating proprietary tools, Temenos Vision Lab is conducted by some of the best leadership coaches in business.


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