How to manage change using yama and niyama

Post By: Published on: November 29, 2016 Reading time: 4 minutes

School of Yoga explains managing change using yama and niyama.

All theory is only as good as its applicability and change is the only constant. So, let us examine how the principles of yama and niyama can be used to achieve success. For this article, I will be reaching into my own experience, hence some of the tools which I suggest may not apply to you. The objective is to share some experience for you to develop your own solutions;

School of Yoga explains change, the great equalizer:

The only constant about change is change itself. Change brings uncertainty and consequently fear of failure. This impacts our identity and our team. Also, change impacts our integrity, transactions, conflict, and all adjustments which we make to perform our duties.

Recognising the reality of change is critical for managing change. Firstly, we need accept change. Secondly, we need to confront our fears of its consequences, including its impact on our sense of identity. Lastly, we must understand the process of coping, response and finally giving or receiving feedback.

How to choose your battle?

When we are young, we got into multiple activities. Often, we take relationships for granted in the rush to prove our self-worth. So, while these activities cement our sense of identity, the neglected relationships begin to suffer.  Consequently, as we age and our need for relationships increase, we find that those relationships no longer exist.

Hence, it is important that we exit from non value adding activities and slow down wherever possible. The slowing down allows us time to recover from destabilization brought by change and allows us to build our emotional and spiritual intelligence.

How does one discriminate which activity to engage in and what to leave? Look at whether you are responsible for the outcome and whether you can control the change process. If you are neither responsible nor have any control over the end result, then its best that you avoid active engagement.

Finally, if you want to get out of an activity which is being thrust on you, say “No”. It’s often hard, but the consequences of not biting the bullet in the beginning can mean getting shot in the end!

How to escalate in conflict during change?

Ancient Indian literature recommends an escalating tool that has four phases (upāya).

  • Sāma (negotiation) – conducting a consensus-based resolution. All parties win.
  • Dāna (inducement or trade-off) – this requires a trade-off, bargaining, exchange or any form of compromise for a solution. Additionally, this may involve bribery, inducement or reward for a solution. No power is used but generally all parties accept a compromise. No one wins, but no one loses.
  • Bheda (influencing or splitting) – using indirect pressure or discord for affect a solution. This can also mean fragmenting the opposition. For the first time power is used, albeit indirectly. The outcome is generally win-lose.
  • Danda (stick or punishment) – applying direct power to effect a solution.

Escalation should follow the following rule –

  • Sāma (negotiation) should be used in 90% of all conflict resolution situations.
  • Dāna (inducement or trade-off) should be a 90% of the remaining 10% situations or 9% of all solutions.
  • Bheda (influence or fragmenting) should be used in 90% of the remaining 1% of situations. Finally,
  • Danda (stick or punishment) should be used in the balance 0.01% choice for resolution management.

Obviously, the escalation in any conflict should be negotiation, followed by inducement, then influence and finally punishment. Needless to say, once a stick is used, then the conflict can rapidly go out of control and there is no telling how it will end.

For more on change management using yama and niyama, click here

Points to Ponder on dedication (śraddhā).

Internal Tags: Karma, Dharma (conditioning)Stress and Situational AwarenessStress and pranaAwareness measures, Bhakti Yoga fundamentals, Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga.

External Tags: Consciousness

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