A New Model of Personal Change: The 'Scared - So What™'

A New Model of Personal Change: The ‘Scared – So What™’

Organisational Success Podcast

Personal change is often not an easy thing, even when it is conscious and wanted. However when you are faced with difficult choices or having to adapt to a situation out of your control, things can go badly wrong for people pretty quickly. 

Personal Change Model

Models of personal change are relatively rare compared to organisational change models. Particularly useful ones.

In this interview I talk with Grant Van Ulbrich who recently published papers in the International Journal of Sales Transformation and the Change Management Review (see below for references and links) about a personal change new model called the Scared So What model, or more accurately models of personal change. I am usually a little suspicious of models with neat acronyms, but this one really appears to work in shifting peoples frames and thinking about personal change.

The Scared – So What™ Model

The SCARED personal change model
The SCARED model
The Scared Model
The soWhat model
The So What model

Grant Van Ulbrich

Grant is the Global Director, Sales Transformation with Royal Caribbean. Grant recently completed some research at Middlesex University in the UK looking at a new personal change model called the SCARED – SO WHAT model. In this interview I talk to grant about the challenge of personal change and he explains the model.

The Podcast – The Scared So What model of personal change

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– Okay, welcome back, today we’re talking to Grant Val Ulbrich, who’s the global director, sales transformation with Royal Caribbean and he’s also one of our members. Now Grant recently completed some research at Middlesex University, looking at a new personal change model called SCARED-SO WHAT, I say a model like, actually it’s a pair of interlinked models. The models were recently published in the International Journal of Sales Transformation and Change Management review. So welcome Grant, it’s great to have you here.

– Thank you so much, it’s an honor to be with you. I really appreciate the invitation.

– Yeah, it’s great to be able to talk to you about the model. Do you just want to give us a little bit of background and kind of context about you, your role, what kind of led up to the development of these personal change models?

– Absolutely, I never really sought out that I would actually go and create a new personal change model. That wasn’t the role that I was looking to do but I’m a global sales leader for a major cruise brand at Royal Caribbean Group. And I’ve been working on the cruise industry for about 20 years and in the sales profession from the cruise industry. And then before that in property management and I also was in the military before. So a lot of life at sea, a lot of life selling and sales. But it wasn’t until recently, just three years ago, I was asked to come over to Europe and to help build out the way of selling for our company. And we’re a pretty large corporation, we have just about 80,000 employees worldwide. We’re one of the largest main brands in the cruise industry and hospitality industry. But it’s interesting that in 50 plus years we’ve never had a sales manual, so I was asked to create what that would look like. And in doing so, when I moved from Miami to Spain, my executive coach that was assigned to me was also a member of Academia, Mr. Brian Tilley of the Leaf Solution and he was associated with . And he said, Grant, there’s a brand new sales masters program that has about a hundred graduates so far from Middlesex University. It’s an MSC and it’s leading sales transformation, I think you should go on this journey before you start writing and creating any type of a sales manual. And so I did, my boss was very eager to, let’s look at the sales science and the sales psychology and let’s do something different that hasn’t been done before. And it was in the masters program that really introduced me, how do you lead salespeople through change and how do you transform your entities and your corporation then your sales platform and that’s where it was born. So it wasn’t something I was looking to do but at 48, 47, 48, I thought, okay, I’ll go back to school. And since then, I’m actually now a doctoral candidate with Middlesex University as well, I’m carrying it forward.

– Cool, great, I’m interested in actually, kind of sales and change, what’s the relationship there? ‘Cause it wasn’t something that I immediately, you know, when I think about sales and I think about change, I don’t actually put the two together normally.

– Well, it’s interesting. If you look at what the role is, there’s three masters programs from and Middlesex on sales but the top one is leading sales transformation. How do you bring the sales science and the sales psychology into the profession of sales. Now that’s something new. And in order to do that, that involves a heavy amount of change and a heavy amount of change lifting. So module four of the sales masters was learning about change and what does it mean? How do you become a change facilitator? How do you take your sales force in our situation on the journey of change and adopting? Because if you think about it, until now sales has never been professionalized. You could go and get your degree in HR, IT, accounting, finance, but in the United States and mostly around the rest of the world, if you wanted to get a degree in sales, you’re probably gonna get an MBA, which is just a generic business degree, very valid but it doesn’t focus on any one speciality. So it’s pioneering, if you think about it and sales people we’ve learned our skillsets just along the way, they’ve been handed to us. But we’ve never really been professionalized like the other professions until now.

– Oh, yeah, I suppose with digital transformation there’s a huge shift, there must be a huge shift, I’m assuming, in the sales landscape that they’re having, that salespeople are having to deal with, is that, I am on the right?

– Absolutely, yeah, you’re absolutely right. And fortunately the masters program prepared me on the change manager side to be able to lead that, to see it number one, and through COVID-19 and then to lead that. So I’m getting ahead of ourselves in the conversation but as part of the master’s program instead of creating a sales manual, we created a digital sales academy. And we focused on this new sales academy to say, how do the sales members function in their roles across sales platforms? And so we built out all of the instructions on, how do you be an account manager? How do you be a business development manager? What’s your role as a sales leader? Where does coaching come into that? And how does that play? What is this art of selling and the sales process? What is the psychology behind it? So we built all of that into it but when COVID came because of the masters program, I was able to see, in the change emphasis on it, I was able to see that there is a massive change shift that has to happen. And so for the first time ever, we brought our digital marketing teams and our account managers together and we put them in the same virtual workshop room and we said, we need to break the gap between digital marketing and selling. And it was a humongous breakthrough, just to break through the barrier. When I sit on the corporate revenue meetings and I hear the digital marketing teams talk about SEO search and analytics and Google this, I’m like what? Likewise, when we’re speaking from a sales platform, they’re like, why don’t you just tell the customers to be customers, to just do what we want them to do? Well, it doesn’t work that way. So we brought them together and we created a whole new digital academy module on what is digital marketing. So that our account managers A, could learn the language and B, so that we could help our business customers to be able to transform their own businesses through COVID-19.

– Got you, that makes a lot of sense. So just coming back to this SCARED-SO WHAT model, there’s an awful lot of change models around, so why this? What is this doing that, all these two models doing that the others don’t?

– Yeah, I go back to what was the spark that helped me to create it? And that was during the master’s program, module four. We were taught and introduced to all of the major change models that exist, could be Kotter’s, could be McKinsey’s, could be the SAR curve from Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, or so I thought it was from her but I learned it is not. And then to your own research, do 70% of change management efforts fail? Back to Kotter, your research that you’ve done. So we looked at all these models and they just were not sitting with me. If I generalize them, they all come through and say, you’re gonna go through some sort of a scenario but eventually you’ll get it and you’ll be fine and the change will happen. And I said, that’s just wrong, we’re human beings. Where’s the personal element? And I asked my professor, raised my hand in front of our whole class. I had no fear of looking stupid but I just said, “I don’t get this.” And I said, “I’m a human being and I can reject this change but these models don’t reflect that, what happens then? And as a sales leader, don’t I wanna know if my employees reject the change that I’m implementing for them?” They’re like, “Good point.” And they said, “But these are the models.” And I said, “But I don’t agree with them.” And they said, “Well, Grant.” And I said, “Where’s the book that tells the individual how to manage personal change? Because there’s organizational change, which most of these are aligned to and attributed to you. But it’s personal to me, where is that?” And he said, “Grant, you may have to create it.” And that sparked a whole new conversation with the rest of the class and spark, or excuse me, the SCARED-SO WHAT was born that day.

– Interesting, really interesting. Particularly like the thinking around this idea, the assumption that a lot of change models do, that the process is gonna happen regardless of what you do, no matter whether you resist it, whether you go with it, whether you go and focus on something else, it seems to suggest that the thing’s just going to happen anyway.

– Yeah, and I called the flag on that one, I said, “That just doesn’t sit well with me.” And you think of how many employees and people around the world, SCARED-SO WHAT has much further legs than just the sales force. And actually during our research, it expands the entire span of business, people, It’s all about personal, right? Being personal. So you think of how many people who reject change at work. How many of your employees are not on board with your decisions and the change? But you’re using the ADKAR, you’re using the McKinsey’s, you’re using all of these models. They forecast that you’re gonna be fine. But if you don’t ask those questions that SCARED-SO WHAT offers, you’re going to be missing the personal side of it.

– Yeah, so obviously, the biggest word that we’ve got here is scared. So what emotions do you see as being kind of associated with change for people?

– Yeah, well, the good thing is, as I was developing it that day, and I have the benefit of having such wonderful professors that kept feeding me in that conversation. Go on, tell me more, what are you thinking? What are you feeling? And I looked at what is fear of change? And there’s actually a term for it called metathesiophobia, the fear of change. But I also said, well, wait a minute, shouldn’t it have different elements of, what about positive change? There’s still fear associated with that, right? Think of like if you’re getting married or you get a new house or a new car, what happens? You get excited, you get nervous, you get anxious, you stress out, right? Well, that’s all energy, surrounds our energy points. And you don’t have to be scared to use the model, what I am saying is that embrace your fears and start to think about it. And that’s where SCARED-SO WHAT comes through, it’s two models together, as you rightfully said but the research said you can’t really have one without the other.

– Yes, I think it’s important just to pick up on this idea that we’re kind of a bag of emotions, particularly in change situations. So we can be both positive, you know really looking forward to something and excited but also uncertain about what this is going to bring about. And still have, even though we may not experience it as fear but I have concerns and anxieties about it at the same time.

– Exactly, and that’s where I’m trying to, if I looked at and research metathesiophobia and the fear of change and what those feelings, if you look at the emotions that come with a negative change impact connotation, you can almost mirror them with a positive change scenario. ‘Cause it’s still, is stressful, it’s still as anxiety, is exactly like you said. So in rewrap reality, it’s all the same emotions. It just, you’re going through something that you need to try to embrace. And most people don’t know how because we haven’t been taught. Especially early on, we haven’t been taught how to deal with change. If you think of my environment where I grew up in the Midwest, it was just deal with it, be a man, just deal with it. Okay, well, what does that mean? Our bodies were obviously built in the chemistry of the uniqueness of our flesh and our minds, has us react to certain stimuli, right? And so I think it’s just absurd to say, go against what your body is telling you to do. I’m actually telling you to embrace it.

– Yeah, which brings us onto the, and you’ve already mentioned this, in the studies you talk about energy states. And this is pretty unusual for models of this nature, that involve kind of change or change an emotion, the ones that do. Could you just explain a little bit more about this and why you’re so interested in energy states and why you see that is important?

– Absolutely, well, if you think about it, again, if I go back to organizational change and again, these are wonderful models, designed by many people who are much smarter than I am. So I give them a great appreciation for what they’ve done. But again, a lot of them are very predicative, that you’re going to accept it. And I just didn’t understand that and I didn’t believe that to be true. So I said, if you look at change, personal change, there is positive energy, there’s neutral energy and there’s negative energy. And depending on the change scenario and how it impacts you personally, you will decide but you also could be in control of that journey if you were able to think it through. Something could start out negative but if you applied some of the steps in the SCARED process to understand what’s happening to you, if you collect more actions, if you collect more energy and explore more options, you could through your own power of understanding what’s happening to you, turn that into a positive experience. So those elements of energy were incredibly important to me in designing this because it encapsulates what the human body and human mind actually does. And so I didn’t want a model that was predictive. I didn’t want a model that was prescribing, saying you’re going to feel this or this. And I actually did research, I connected with Ken Ross, who was the son of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the late doctor who invented the change curve. And he told me, he said, Grant, she didn’t invent the SAR curve, she didn’t. She actually had 13 steps in her change curve model but it was too much for people to absorb and she actually wanted to just facilitate a conversation. So someone, somewhere along the way, took her model and just changed it themselves, and a business incorporation. They don’t know who but he actually said, she was the most anti-business woman you’ve ever would imagined, she just wanted to facilitate conversations. He bought her three personal computers and she refused and used a typewriter. So there you go, that’s the pure example of why I invented SCARED-SO WHAT. Because I wanted to encompass positive, negative and neutral energies and the ability to choose for yourself about change. The other models don’t allow for that.

– Yeah, I think that’s a really important point. Okay, so let’s have a look at the first part of the model, the SCARED part. So why pick on the acronym SCARED and what does it stand for?

– Absolutely, so I think I shared a little bit earlier, what I’m trying to do is say, it’s okay for you to embrace your fears regardless of the energy spectrum. Again, getting married, that’s positive but you’re still, oh, there’s fear associated with that positive fear. But I’m still trying to say to you, throw out the old rule of just deal with it and start to understand what’s happening to you. And so, if we’re going to do that then let’s just talk about it. Okay, I’m scared, what does it mean? And that’s a way of understanding how to deal with it, how to get into it. If I broke it down, the interactions of what happens during that process of a personal change, there’s an element of surprise. And then this is where this model is very different. It’s splits based on the energy spectrum. If I go positive, the C is championing. Do I champion this change that’s happening? If I go negative, am I conflicted about it? So again, I’m in control but my first instincts are to rate and that’s where I’ve invented the SCARED quiz. So you could answer a series of questions and see exactly visually where you are in your own change process. At the heart of change is an action and action needs to happen in order for a change to be embraced or rejected or what rather. And so actions is at the central point. If I do some sort of an action or actions are happening around me, I can influence the change that’s happening to me or I can change it altogether. The R is again, are you receptive on a positive or are you rejective on a negative? The other models don’t include that. And either one is fine, it’s your personal journey. But I wanted to include all elements of the energy spectrum. The E stands for explore. Once you’re going through this journey, are you exploring other options and opportunities? Are you looking at other factors and scenarios to help you with the change? Have you explored or have you not? If you haven’t, then you might wanna go and influence some other actions. And then again, the D stands for decision. On the positive side, have I made a favorable decision about it? Do I feel good about this change or not? I need to know that. And then on the bottom negative side is, yeah, I’ve made a decision, this ain’t happening. So, it’s I’m just not going to deal with it. And as an employer, as a leader of salespeople, I wanna know that. I wanna know if my people are following me or if they’re just going through the motions. So that was critically important. And there’s also a third element in the D called indecision, where people just do not have the information. They haven’t done any actions at all. Usually this is what you’ll find, if they do the SCARED quiz, you’ll find the A and the E will be very red, they haven’t done anything. And if they simply go back and do some actions, like asking questions, gaining information, again, you can take control of your own personal journey. So that’s understanding what the change is about you and what’s happening to you. And by seeing that individual synopsis through the SCARED survey, then you can make changes to it. Okay, I know the roadmap of where I need to go. It’s not linear, you don’t have to use every single thing and every single step because our minds are not linear. So I didn’t wanna build a model that said, you have to follow A to Z. And that’s exactly what Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross tried to do but everybody came through and said, yeah, look what she made?

– Linear model.

– Yeah, and Ken Ross told me, he said, make that very clear in the beginning, this is not linear, your mind does not linear. We’re kind of scattered as human beings and it’s okay to go back and forth and skip things.

– Yeah, and I like the fact that you’ve included indecision in there because I think almost more than other type of kind of decisional process as it were, people frequently become indecisive when they’re faced with change. And particularly when they’re faced with paradoxical change and they can’t quite work out a way forward, frequently they sit there and do nothing.

– Yeah, sure and you think–

– And we see that in organizations but with individuals too. Sorry, sorry, go on.

– Yeah, and you’re so right. We haven’t been taught how to deal with change. And in most times since we don’t know, we just sit there and we worry about it, we stress about it. And the change becomes, we delay it, we detract it or walk away from it. And what SCARED-SO WHAT is doing is saying, it’s okay, your body is reacting a certain way. I just want you to follow your natural instincts but here’s a template to help you think it through and talk to yourself, talk out loud about it. Does that make sense?

– It does because it helps you understand what’s going on ’cause quite often we’re the victims of our emotions and our feelings that are kind of occurring, particularly in change situations. And particularly, if they’re rapid change situations that it’s some kind of turmoil where you can feel positive one minute and negative the next minute. And quite often people don’t have the tools to be able to unpack that to understand what’s happening to them. And this is one of the things I like about this model, is it enables, well, it gives people a language and also a kind of a structured approach to working through what’s going on for them.

– Yeah, and psychologically it ties it right to fear. And we’re giving you permission to say, it’s okay to talk about it.

– Yes, definitely. And having that language and having that, I suppose framework allows for a conversation, not just with yourself but with others within a department or an organization as well.

– Absolutely.

– So let’s just move on to the second part, the SO WHAT bit, which sounds like, well, so what? Can you just kind of guide us through the components of this and how it works?

– Yeah I thought when I first built it, I thought that SCARED was just fine. But then I sat there with my professors and I said, to the other models. Okay, so you say I’m going to accept it, so what does that mean? And I kept coming back to, so what, so what. And so when I built SCARED, my professor looked at me and he went, “So what does that mean?” And I went, “You’re right.” None of the models have ever answered that question, so what, what do I do now? What does this mean for me? So I focused on that and what is SO WHAT? Simon Sinek is a great illustrator of finding your why and finding out your why and also what, et cetera. And I learned through the master’s program, there’s the what, there’s the so what and there’s the now what. So it all comes through from an academic point of view that people need a roadmap for what do they do next? So I looked at it and I said, okay, great, if I can get past the decision point, regardless if it’s positive, neutral, indecision or negative, you as a human being are going to make a decision about a personal change scenario. You’re SO WHAT is this, what is your strategy? What options do you have to support your strategy? Do you have a way forward, more of a sounding point, right? Yeah, I do or no, I don’t. Maybe I need to talk with some other people about my strategy and my options. And then the H is, do you have hope or do you know how you’re going to execute your strategy? Okay, and that’s a normal. Again, this is all personal, right? So if I don’t have a good hope or a good feeling about this or I don’t know how I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna pause and then I can either go back and rework on my strategy or I can take an action and work with others. If I do have a favorable, then I go on to A, what actions will I take to ensure that I execute my plan? And what’s really missing is the T, how will I ensure that I take ownership to execute my own plan? And so SO WHAT becomes that strategy roadmap for yourself so that you don’t just sit there and go, okay, well, so what now, you actually build it. And so for that, I created a template as well. It’s an Excel template at the moment, we’re working to get this into an app tool shortly but for now it’s Excel and you deliberately just build it. The template is there and it just promotes thoughts, helps you to create and jot down. You can take it, it’s portable. You can talk with your supervisors or your friends or your wife or your husband, your partners, whatever, significant other and try to develop your own So WHAT plan. So the two of them throughout my research, there were types of people that are, I just want to get to it, that wanted to navigate towards the SO WHAT. And then there were types of people that said, well, I wanna understand my why. So I’m really curious about the SCARED part about it. But they all came through, every single one of both sides of those types of people, said, you’ve got to use them both together. And I thought that was really interesting from the research and the feedback to say, we do have different styles of managing ourselves, and some people are, just let’s get to the point. And some people are like, well, I wanna think about it but for all them to come back a hundred percent to say both must be used together, I thought was really impactful.

– Yeah, and unusual ’cause I, it’s that they value both sides of that, is really important, I think. So can you give us an example of the use of the full model in practice? How can this actually be used?

– Well, how about I give you a real example of what happened to me? It’s funny, I’ve used SCARED-SO WHAT many times myself and I created it. But just last year during the pandemic, we had to shut down some of our offices and unfortunately reduce a lot of staff as many corporations around the world have had to do. And so I was living in Barcelona, Spain with my husband and I facilitated that change. I used SCARED-SO WHAT for all the employees across Europe, Middle East and Africa, to help them get through their emotions. And it was wonderful because they were able to come to a decision much faster and move on to the SO WHAT strategy, building their own SO WHAT plans. And then the last day came and we shut down the office and the move, we were moving back to Miami and that’s when I realized, oh, no, I’m done. I’m moving, honey, we’re going to Miami back to America and I could lose my job tomorrow, there’s no job protections there. So on the plane, literally on the plane as this is designed to do, Claudia, my husband, he said, “Well, use your model Grant. You built it, use it on yourself. Are you scared? And so what are you going to do?” And I literally pulled out the napkin from the flight attendant and I wrote, okay, I just wrote down the elements. And I made my SO WHAT strategy on that airplane of what I was going to do and how I was going to sell my job to my leaders so that I could remain contributing to the business and expand our program globally. So even for myself, I find that I often use it many times but regardless of the impact. I’ve even had parents, who have come back to me and say, “Grant, we’re using SCARED-SO WHAT for our kids.” I said, “Why didn’t you think about that? I used it for sales and for sales leaders and for our employees, how are you doing that?” And they say, well, we’re giving it to them as a framework and they’re younger so they don’t have as many obstructions or–

– Reservations

– Reservations about using it. And it’s much easier for them. And they’re actually combating their own elements of change by using it. And I thought, well, there you go. Because you know, again, nobody’s taught us how to manage personal change. So maybe this can help people.

– That’s really cool, that’s really cool. So one of the questions that I’m interested in here is, it appears to me that this is a really useful tool for coaches to use with people. And it sounds like that’s what you were doing with your people, coaching them through this, is that the case?

– Yes, and it’s interesting you say that because in my research, I built the model in the master’s program and higher power, higher vision, whatever it may be but COVID-19 heating, you know we literally had probably 400 plus employees that we had to go through these changes. And as I had built it, I had involved so many of the sales leadership and the general management leadership in our company, who were all involved in these changes as well. Human resources came to me and said, “Grant, will you start using this in a broader spectrum for all of the employees? Can you start doing presentations? Because we believe in it.” And it just turned that I became a coach and I became, teaching the other sales leaders and the other leaders how to coach their own people through the changes using the model. So then all of a sudden, without me realizing it, we had so many other leaders who were saying, “Are you scared? Have you made it, are you surprised, are you conflicted? What actions are you doing?” And they were walking people through the model. And it was brilliant because you could get an employee or a person through the fear of the change faster. Because they were able to think about it and see it and talk it through in a model that applied to them ’cause it’s designed to be personal. But most important is, is that the people instantly were able to get onto their own SO WHAT. And they were telling us, I need help with resumes. I need help with job interviews. I need help with application processes. I need help with this but I also need to still do my job. And we thought, that’s amazing. If you look at so many people who are about, ready to lose their jobs over the next few months, they’re handling this incredibly well. And I think it’s because they were able to get past the fear of the personal change that was hitting them. So it did lead to that. And as I continued my research in interviewing sales leaders and people across Europe, Middle East and Africa doing it, everybody had come, well, I can’t say everybody. But if I look at the research and the data of the surveys, there was a large percentage about 70, 75% of people who came back and said, this could be a great coaching tool and it’s very easy to use. And then I finished out the master’s degree and I continued it on and asking sales leaders and doctors and academics, what is this notion about using it for coachability? And I started connecting with actual coaches, certified coaches throughout industry. And they very easily came through and said, “Well, all I have to do is use the model and ask an open-ended question and listen, all I’m doing is facilitating the conversation. Are you surprised? Are you conflicted? What actions have you done? Are you rejective or receptive? Okay, so what’s your strategy? Do you have a strategy? You have some options, what’s your way forward?” So as a coach, just like the grown models and all of the other models that has, this one is actually ties to you personally. So for a coaching tool, it’s not just something that’s prescribed, it actually identifies with you. So it’s been very favorable.

– I’m not surprised, I’ve got to say, I’m not surprised. And I think the story that you’ve told about being on the airplane on the way back to the States and you being conflicted and having that, aha, moment and then using it, what came across to me from that and the other examples that you’ve given, is how out of the end of the process it gives people a place to go to. And I got that sense of excitement that’s a result of that and–

– Yeah, well, it gives you clarity. And if you think a personal change today, many people aren’t just like, okay, well, so what does it mean? Or they don’t talk about it, they just stress and worry about it. If you can get yourself through that personal anxiety, that angst or that situation, regardless of it’s positive or negative, you’re still feeling those actions. But if you have a way to think it through or talk to yourself or invite others into the journey, then you get through it faster versus just lingering. The SO WHAT is the icing on the cake. The SO WHAT is your own plan. And if you think of it as a sales leader or business leader, not just sales, this has much broader connotation than I ever imagined but really if you’re a human being you can use the model regardless of what you do work, personal or whatever situation. And I’ve even found through change management leaders that I’m working with that I do support organizational change models but they’re also coming through and saying, “Grant, what we believe is SCARED-SO WHAT needs to be used first.” When we introduced the change at work, we need to focus on what the personal side of it is. And if we can get them through understanding the change and get them to a favorable decision and building their own SO WHAT together, then we come through with the organizational change model and put that on top. Right, now that everybody’s on board or you two are not, let’s have some further actions into further discussions because we want to get people on board. And as a leader, I wanna know if my people are on board with me or not and this is a way of helping us to get through that. If you think of change with salespeople, how many times in a sales profession do you get rejected? Every day, by clients and customers, that hurts and that’s changed, right? How are you gonna change your style, your pitch, your navigation? And so change is a constant variable with sales and the profession of sales. So you can use this as well.

– Yeah, great, so in terms of coping with personal change, which given where we are in the middle of a kind of global COVID pandemic, this is particularly pertinent. So what three pieces of it, sorry to cut you down to three, but hey, that’s the name of the game. What three pieces of advice would you give to people who are faced with, what for many people are massive levels of personal change right now?

– Yeah, I would say number one, you need to learn to minimize the fear of change. And people throw out so often, don’t be scared. Well, that’s just not true ’cause your body was designed for a reason. So I reject that and I say, be scared but just be smart enough to talk it through. So I would say number one is that, try to minimize the fear from change by actually thinking it through and using the SCARED model. Take the SCARED quiz and just see where you are. The beauty of that is, it’s just with you, nobody else has to see it, it’s your results. And it will change every time you take it because you’ve gained a new or new information. The second thing would be to utilize the SCARED process. If you use it as a way to have that conversation with yourself, it’s okay to talk to yourself. Probably the best most important conversation you’re ever gonna have. And the most attentive conversation you’ll have is with yourself. And what I’m saying and suggesting here is, if you combat your fears, anxieties, excitement or nervousness and you think it through this way you’re going to come out more in control. And once you’re there, the third piece of advice that we’ll say is, make sure you develop your SO WHAT. Whatever you do as a result of change, it’s personal and it’s yours and it’s your own SO WHAT. And you can do that by using the template. You can do that just by jotting it down on a napkin on an airplane or wherever you are. You don’t have to use the tools, once you understand what SCARED-SO WHAT means, it becomes ingrained in your mind that you could just do it in conversation. And that’s the relevance of it. Okay, a personal change situations happening, you’re scared, so what are you gonna do? Talk it through.

– Lovely, lovely, really nice. So I’ve really enjoyed this. So where can people contact you if they want to Grant?

– Absolutely, you can contact me on LinkedIn, I love connections. I use LinkedIn very heavily so just look me up, Grant Val Ulbrich on LinkedIn. And you can also email me directly at [email protected]. I’ve got the website address with all of our information. There’s YouTube videos, Facebook and Instagram. And what’s really important is, I don’t wanna make any money off of this, so it’s free to the world. So when I say that, the model is scaredsowhat.com and it’s a hundred percent available and free to you, no matter who you are, wherever you are around the world. If I can help one person to navigate and learn how to manage personal change, then maybe I’ve done something worthwhile. And so that’s why many people are saying, “Grant, you’re fool for that.” But, you know, there’s a higher reward than money. And so I just want people to be able to do, to help themselves.

– Perfect, beautiful, thank you. Thank you so much and I’ll put all the links in the podcast notes, the LinkedIn, the websites, videos, we’ll do a little piece on the model as well, which is lovely. Thank you very much. It’s been brilliant talking to you and hearing about the models. And I think people are gonna find them really useful both for themselves, but also coaches and consultants and people like that. And good luck with your continuing research. Obviously we’ll stay in touch through the review and as I say, I’ll put all the links, contacts and everything else in there, that’s great. Thank you very much Grant, I really appreciate that.

– My pleasure, thank you David. And you take care and be well.

– And you take care.

If you liked this…

You may also like – https://oxford-review.com/laughter-well-bein/


Van Ulbrich, G. (2020) Introducing a New Model for Personal Change: The SCARED-SO WHAT™ Change Mode. Change Management Review – https://www.changemanagementreview.com/introducing-a-new-model-for-personal-change-the-scared-so-what-change-model/

Van Ulbrich, G. (2020) Igniting a spark: How to introduce a collaborative change methodology to further support embedding of a sales academy into an organization. The International Journal of Sales Transformation. Vol 6 Issue 1.

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David Wilkinson

David Wilkinson is the Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Review. He is also acknowledged to be one of the world's leading experts in dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty and developing emotional resilience. David teaches and conducts research at a number of universities including the University of Oxford, Medical Sciences Division, Cardiff University, Oxford Brookes University School of Business and many more. He has worked with many organisations as a consultant and executive coach including Schroders, where he coaches and runs their leadership and management programmes, Royal Mail, Aimia, Hyundai, The RAF, The Pentagon, the governments of the UK, US, Saudi, Oman and the Yemen for example. In 2010 he developed the world's first and only model and programme for developing emotional resilience across entire populations and organisations which has since become known as the Fear to Flow model which is the subject of his next book. In 2012 he drove a 1973 VW across six countries in Southern Africa whilst collecting money for charity and conducting on the ground charity work including developing emotional literature in children and orphans in Africa and a number of other activities. He is the author of The Ambiguity Advanatage: What great leaders are great at, published by Palgrave Macmillian. See more: About: About David Wikipedia: David's Wikipedia Page