Raise the Heat
Making progress on issues you care about may require you to raise the heat on yourself and others. To address adaptive challenges, you must help people through a period of disturbance as they sift through what is essential and what is expendable. Adaption tends to happen when you disrupt the status quo. This may cause disequilibrium as you experiment with possible solutions, creating frustration or panic or confusion in people about the process and/or what they stand to lose. If the heat is too hot, people tend to react from their fight, flight, or freeze responses. If the heat is too low, not much happens, progress stalls. Calibrating the heat and raising or lowering it is a skill you need when intervening skillfully.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What is the heat level on your issue or in your group work? Does the heat need to be raised?
- What are the tough questions no one is asking?
- What is your comfort level with raising the heat?
- What is the group’s comfort level with raising the heat?
- What are the possible consequences and risks for raising the heat?
- What reactions do you see when the heat gets raised?
- What action might you take to intervene productively to these reactions?