Endings and Beginnings – a cycle for positive change – [FULL INTERVIEW]

In this full interview with Rob Tyler we discuss how every ending is also the beginning of something too.

In a world that often feels like it is turning upside down thinking about it in this way can often really help. Here shares his perspective and some tools to really help.

Find out more about Rob Tyler-> Here.

Interview Transcript

So hi, everyone, I’m here with Rob Tyler today. So Rob, welcome back. And Rob obviously works for Morpheus, who’s in the sort of the management coaching and behavioural change kind of field. And, you know, we were chatting, Rob, you know, we’re chatting a little bit recently, I suppose around all the changes that are going on in the economy. And I thought we could just touch base in terms of, you know, what that means, from, from our behaviours and for our management teams as well. And as we were sort of chatting a bit about that. So 30, good sort of topic for us to, to maybe go through and quite appropriate the start of the year. So, I mean, I mean, how are you sort of finding things as we sort of kick into this year? I mean, Are you sensing and there’s a lot of worry around, you know, how the year is going to play out?

Well, first of all, thanks, Chris. It’s good to be back. Yeah, it’s an interesting question. Because if you’d, if you’d asked me that question a week ago, I would say that we were still in a period of somewhat uncertainty and scepticism. But actually, from a perspective of the economy, things seem to change quite a bit in the last week. Yeah. And there does seem to have been a sudden increase in optimism. I mean, I noticed that the stock markets have gone up, I think, this morning, they were trading above 7800 In the UK, which is pleasing to see of course, but it but it’s also indicative of the optimism that’s been created. Yeah. But I think from my perspective, what’s really important, and it’s good that we’re doing this in January, because January is obviously a beginning. Yeah. And people in management, I think, will experience a number of endings and beginnings. in different environments, the economy being just one of them. And it’s important, I think, to acknowledge that life is a series of endings and beginnings. And those endings and beginnings can either run concurrently or sequentially. But there’s no doubt there. So, going back to your comment about the environment, from a management perspective, how well we manage our cycles, if you like, of whatever experience we’re having that started out, at some point, we’ll finish in some respects, defines our overall experience.

We have different endings, and startings. Throughout the, throughout our lifetime, I suppose you have different aspects of that. So I mean, I was thinking principally around, you know, the employment market, as well as we might have turmoil in that, because that comes economically. But you have all these other endings and beginnings as well, such as, you know, almost like a, you know, from, from a life point of view in terms of like, maybe it’s like family, but, you know, it’s like personal relationships, all those kinds of things can be a sort of endings. And because,

indeed, I mean, life is, you know, a series of endings and beginnings, you know, multiple. So, I think what’s important is to acknowledge that, first of all, and having acknowledged that, and accepting that whatever experience we’re going through, had a beginning and will have an end, it puts us in a better position, I think, to manage those cycles, preempt them, and create a certain smoothness, if you like, to the transitions that we face.

Does that change, I suppose whether it’s a, you’re gonna have good changes and bad changes as well, right? So sometimes these beginnings and endings can be a good thing. So sometimes that they’re not a great thing as well. I mean, just to do any add, we think about that we need to sort of extend the good ones or or versus the bad ones? Or is it just like, we just, I mean, how do we how do we change our approach to it, depending on what it might be and how we might feel about

it? Yeah, it’s a good point. So I think, I think a good thing to acknowledge is, and I’m not the first person to say this, but a beginning and an ending is the same place, you can’t, you can’t have a beginning unless you have an ending. So in order to make a fresh start, if you like, you do have to acknowledge that something has come to an end. And it could be a job. It could be a relationship, or reporting relationship, whatever it happens to be in the workplace. But to acknowledge that upfront, gives you an opportunity then to create the new beginning for yourself. And you mentioned about, you know, it could be good or bad. Well, that’s true. But again, I think that depends on how you define it. And and depends on your own perspective. And this is where language I think comes into play. You know, and I hear a lot about endings if you like being cast as endings, which makes it sound a bit doom and gloom, but you can also look upon it as for example, a completion the end of a planned outcome. However, you We wish to define it. So if we acknowledge that our cycles have a start and a finish, the completion of that cycle can be looked at in a very positive light. Looking back on it, what did it bring you? What did you achieve from that? And it might have been, it might have been an unpleasant experience. But just because it was an unpleasant experience doesn’t mean to say it wasn’t an opportunity for growth and understanding and increased self awareness, which incrementally can improve your overall capabilities. So the perspective you take around your various cycles of endings and beginnings, I think it’s an important one. And it certainly doesn’t need to be seen as something which is bad just because it’s finished. It’s an acknowledgment that that cycle was always going to finish at some point, and therefore, you know, what did I gain from that?

Yeah, and especially you get into this sort of like, you can be disappointed if something good has come to an end, or you know, hasn’t quite finished the way you want to. And it’s, and you can become very focused on the ending piece instead of focusing actually on the beginning piece. Right. So it’s like, well, how do I actually think about well, what does that mean going forward, rather than this way, looking back and sort of living in the past in terms of like, how do you unless that’s a frame of reference thing? Is it all?

It is? Yeah, I mean, the endings and beginnings are often our emotional high points, aren’t they? So it depends on what emotions we attached as the event occurs. But one thing that’s worth observing is that sometimes, you know that there’s been an ending and beginning. I mean, it’s very clear that, you know, if you go on holiday and come home, you know, it started, it’s finished. Yeah. You know, we know that the the festive season is over. You know, it’s very clear. But there are other situations, I think, that are much more vague and much more difficult to manage. So for example, your relationships with other individuals, wherever they might be acknowledging maybe where you are in that cycle. Have they actually finished without you realising? Or are you still kind of clinging on if you like, Are there are there things that you need to do to kickstart and maybe get onto a new cycle? Some of these can be very vague, I mean, even even competency and proficiency, which is, you know, probably going to come to the fore in the workplace. Where are you in your cycle of proficiency? Are you still the person that you used to be in terms of your skills and capabilities? And even your interest in what you do? Or have you moved on? And is it worth acknowledging that there has been that change? And it is good time now, maybe to to complete that cycle? Or move on to something different?

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I suppose part of its sounds like, you know, I got your recognise, you know, when it’s when there’s that changes going on? I suppose there’s some some, some skill around that in terms of like, well, you know, thinking about it, but then also, how do we sort of like, think about tools or techniques around around our change of reference in terms of intimate frames of reference in terms of how we then relate to that change as well? I mean, what how should we think about that and almost like to make, is it to make the change easier? Is it to make it better outcomes? Is it? Is it you know, how does that kind of help us? And what can we do about it? So if that’s a fundamental sort of influence on how we how we interact with the change?

Yeah, so I think that’s a good point. And having a frame of reference, and having a mental picture of where you are, within your various building experience cycles, I think is a good starting point. So it’s also worth remembering that some of the change is going to be caused by external factors, and some might be caused by yourself. And they’re probably going to be different experiences. So if a completion if you like, and I’m going to call it a completion rather than than an end of an experienced cycle is imposed externally, that might come as a bit of a shock. And then change is suddenly thrust upon you. So you’re then in a situation where you’ve got to decide how you react to that. What is your what is your mindset around in force change. So you could look upon it as something bad, or you can look upon it as something that was always going to happen. Have an acceptance of it, look upon it maybe as an opportunity for a new experience, and also look upon it as a look, look retrospectively at what you’ve done, and examine the growth that came from that. That got you to the point you are now which enables you then to move on to maybe a different or even greater experience. So endings, if you like, or completions, as I like to call them don’t necessarily signal bad news, they can create a massive opportunity for you to take what you’ve learned and then move on to something. Which is, even though you might not see it at the time could be something which is better than you just experienced. That’s the that’s the, that’s the first thing, which is the external influence, if you like, on the as the catalyst for the change. The other thing, which I think is also very important, particularly for people in in the workplace is your internal position. And what I see actually as a coach is probably not a great deal of clarity as to where an individual might be in their career cycle, or even their role cycle. So the danger, I think, is if you think of it in terms of the optimal amount of time that you spend in a particular role, or doing a particular task, that has a sweet spot for change. The task is knowing where you are in that cycle. And knowing knowing when you have reached the point if you like, where it’s probably not going to improve, and being and being prepared and to accept that and transition on to the next level, or the next roll. Or it could be anything, it could be a change a roll, it could even be retirement, it could be whatever the whatever the individual thinks is best for them. So again, you have to think, have a perspective around where you are, in your own individual cycle in terms of your career. The pitfalls of not having good perspective, is that you might make changes too often, and therefore not realise the benefits of the role that you’re in. Or you may not make the change soon enough, and stay around too long. And then you start to experience some negative effects. When when, probably if you’re honest, you know that you probably should have done something by now. But there’s another bit of you maybe a little bit of procrastination that says, you know, I’m just gonna stick around as long as I can. But of course, sticking around as long as you can, may be a detriment, and it may use up the time that you could be taking to pursue something new and exciting. I’m sort of thinking there about how easy it is to, to advise friends or colleagues about what they should do. But you know, so you can say, well, you should do this, this, this, is this the logical thing to do, and you sort of got it all mapped out, it’s almost like as this external third party, and then the same situation can come up for you personally, and sort of like, you know, three weeks time,

and you’d make exactly the same decision that you’re advising against that, because it’s about about you remember that? How do you sort of get that external perspective, and even though you know, it might be the right thing, it can be very hard to go against it, and create that external perspective, when you’re sort of in the thick of it, right? I mean, what’s how do you how do you sort of extract yourself from the situation? So look, as a third party, this is what it seems like the most logical thing to do. And this is what I would advise my friend to do it, but I gotta give myself the advice. Yeah,

yeah. So very good question. And, you know, within that there are lots and lots of complex layers of human behaviour. Yeah, but I think I think what’s, what is important, is self awareness. So, you first of all have to say to yourself, What is my level of self awareness? Is my self awareness governed purely on what I think about myself? Or am I taking valuable input? From everybody around me? Are my thoughts being validated? Is what I’m thinking. actually true? Yeah. Am I Am I putting self limitations in the way? Do I would other people say things about me that I wouldn’t say about myself? Do I have skills that that I don’t recognise, but other people believe are inherent? So I think that I think the answer to your question really is, is to communicate, and do it, do it in a way that is balance that you’re prepared to take whatever people say to you. And also use the huge sources of the inputs that you find reliable. So you may just want to work with one or two trusted companions, and people who know will give you good honest feedback in a very non judgmental way, so that so that you can extract some value from that and then really, having increased self awareness, you’re in a much better position then to be able to really think about you as the person in your new environment. and how you can position yourself most adeptly, if you like for the future ahead of you.

I suppose that finding those trusted people is quite important, just in some sort. Because if you’re going to people who mean they can people in a political agendas and all those kind of things, you get some of those things as well, which is, you know, so you want to try and have people who are gonna give you the honest feedback, rather than, you know, a varnished version of that in terms of like, you know, your wonderful or whatever it is you it’s really about finding that that real friend, isn’t it to say, well, actually, you should be doing this. As a friend, I would do that. And you have to sort of go back and say, Well, I’ve challenged them, well, maybe I should be doing that. I don’t know. So that that trust element must come come up with being quite important.

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Everything? It is, yeah, you certainly don’t want any sort of underlying agenda or or conditionality around the conversation, so. But it’s a personal choice. And we all know, the people that we could best speak to, and others that may be less able to give you the input you’re looking for.

And I suppose that everyone else is going through the same thing as well. That’s the other the other thing is there’s Is there not a bit of and around honesty as well, right? In terms of, you know, we all like to think we’re very different, but a lot of us are actually very, very similar in many ways, in terms of, you know, human human psychology is common amongst all of us, right? So I imagine there’s a little bit of that, even though it might be hidden, and other people might not have that, that perspective, or that sort of like, you know, external perspective or self awareness. But even if you do, right, so, I mean, that’s that, I suppose, is in the mix as well.

It is, yeah, yeah. I mean, I mean, fundamentally, behaviour is quite common. It’s like, it’s a little bit like a set of pistons insofar as you know, for some people, there are issues that are in play, and others that aren’t, and vice versa. So, but I think it’s down to the individual to really to work out for themselves, I think, how it’s best to get that input. And I know it’s difficult in the workplace, because not everyone is willing to share their, their true thoughts and feelings about the situation they’re in. So you could look to sort of independent people. I mean, without wishing to bang on about my own profession, you know, having an external input as a coach, for example, or or something equivalent doesn’t have to be a coach is often a very useful way of being able to table your true your honest feelings about the situation to get that neutral and independent input. Although, I one thing I would stress is that you should always be the person that makes your decisions and not expect other people to do it for you. Yeah,

I suppose what’s the intersection between, I suppose endings beginnings, so self awareness, but then also, there’s a lot talked about imposter syndrome. That’s that I mean, that’s been that’s been quite popular topic over the last over the last couple of years as well. And what’s the interaction between that because it feels like there’s a bit of sort of like, self awareness, which sort of starts, but then you can sort of get into that overlay with other psychological things around well, you know, am I doing a good job and sort of those insecurities as well, but then that’s also having the self awareness might sort of create some of those things. But if you get through it, it’s probably a good thing. Because then you say, well, actually, I am looking at evidence as an example, you actually got evidence to actually you are doing a good job. And that’s one of the things I imagine you could probably do. I mean, is that is that when everything’s kind of internally interrelated? How do you how do you think about that in terms of almost like the, the change and the endings and the beginnings piece as well, in terms of like, what are our own voices saying internally as well?

Well, you’re right. It’s very systemic, it’s very sort of interconnected, and complex in many respects. But if you look at a situation, let’s let’s start with self awareness. So fundamentally, as I just discussed, self awareness is best positioned by as much input as you can get, both internally and externally. So you get a very rounded set of opinions as to you as a person, if you like in the current environment or the or the future environment that you see yourself going towards. Once you’ve got good self awareness, and clarity, you’re going to make better choices about how you position yourself moving forward, so which which environment is going to work for you. So you mentioned or touched on psychological positioning which might get in the way of that, I mean, imposter syndrome being one of them, or self imposed barriers is another So I think if you look at those, they are things that we bring upon ourselves largely. I doubt whether somebody you’re working with is going to come along and say, Oh, by the way, I think you’ve got an impostor syndrome going on. So this is something that is felt within. And of course, it’s there because maybe you don’t have sufficient input from the outside. And if you’re if you’re, if you’re imposter syndrome as well, I can’t, and I’ve heard this, you know, I can’t believe that I’m doing the job that I’m doing. Surely, surely, I’m going to get found out at some point? How did I ever make it to this point without anyone noticing? Yeah, I sort of, but that’s sort of things you might say to yourself. However, unless you get input from other people, and by the way, someone, at some point did make a decision that you should do the role that you’re doing. Unless you get those those inputs, you’re never really going to be able to test your own perceptions or self perceptions, to the extent where you validate whether they’re true or not.

How much do you think the media and particularly social media plays into our perceptions of ourselves and our self awareness? And even as it links back to beginnings and endings of like, what should be a good ending? What should be a good beginning? The beginning? What should you get from things? I mean, it’s like, we have this almost like, external narrative going on around what things should be. And a lot of the time it might be, it might be fiction that you’re actually seeing on TV that’s going to entertain, right, it’s entertainment, that’s actually been done. But it does subconsciously, sort of pervade your thoughts in terms of like, well, this is what this is, what a grip to life should be, oh, this is why a good employee should be all those sorts of things. But the data might show it’s actually something different than than what you see on TV as an example, on social media. I mean, how much of a problem do you think that that’s sort of building the being?

It can be problematic? I think that I think that’s, you know, well publicised that there certainly have been issues regarding self perception and social media. So I think the starting point for that is to, you know, if you’re engaging with social media, you have got to ask yourself, what thoughts and feelings is that creating within you. Because if you’re taking information in from social media, you’re gonna get a thought, and it’s going to create a feeling within you. And that feeling is going to make you feel probably something about yourself in relation to what you’re seeing in response to the question that you posed. So I think, firstly, you have to validate the accuracy, if you like, perspective, and completeness of the information you’re taking in in the first place. Because it because it is very easy just for that information to be skewed skewed. And you can create a false impression, if you like, of what’s really going on out there. Because it’s, in a sense, it can be a kind of positive news bias. You’re only seeing the good stuff. And then you’re comparing that to you and thinking Well, everybody else seems to be having a great life. What’s happened to me.

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But I suppose from from, from your point of view, what we’re saying is, the evidence might show that that is actually not the case. Right? That you actually look at it, but it’s just what you perceive as your social media or TV. I mean, the one that the one that always gets me is, I mean, I have to say that I do not have a bath every night with lots of candles, drinking red wine. I can’t think of anything worse than drinking red wine in a hot bath.

I’m very I’m very, I’m very disappointed in you, Chris.

But it but it’s on TV a lot, right? Because it’s a it’s a it’s a it’s a literary tool to say relaxing, right? So and it’s used on TV, and it looks very, very nice. But it’s not something that I would personally do. Right. You might do it, they might enjoy it. But it colours around what you think might be a good thing to do in the evening. Right. But it’s not necessarily what people necessarily do.

Right? That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. So in a sense, you know, going back to the inputs that you allow to create those those kind of thoughts and feelings. You’re getting down to sort of information availability bias, you know, are you being conditioned by the availability of the information that you’re taking in? Because if you had absolute full information, your perspective would probably be a little bit different. And you’d realise that most of the population, including yourself, it would sound does not sit in a bath with champagne and candles. Yeah. So. So that’s, it is important. And the other thing I think, is an interesting perspective. I heard Recently as how the use of social media pushes people much faster towards the level of a self esteem. You know, we’ve all heard of, you know, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. But there seems to be an acceleration towards needing to great get to those greater levels of self esteem, probably faster than these natural. You’re almost jumping straight to I’ve got to have everyone thinks, think I’m great. Or I’ve got to I’ve got to try and keep up with everybody else in some respects. And that’s what

this was coming back to the beginnings and endings pieces does that, you know, if you don’t have that self awareness, does it force you into internal into more beginnings, more endings and more beginnings, quicker than maybe you need to? Maybe it needs to be a little bit longer? And so it’s Well, it’s, I’m hearing sort of like, how do you take a step back and have that self control to be able to control control your narrative to control those cycles to certain extent, some of which are externally imposed? But I mean, to a greater extent, and then how you interact with interrelate with it.

Yeah, yeah, you’re absolutely right. So I mentioned earlier on about, you know, if you’re in a in a career cycle, for example, it’s fine is finding the sweet spot where the making the shift, making a change is, is optimal. And the dangers if you like, of, of acting, before you reach that sweet spot, and not realising the full benefits of the position you might be in. And, of course, to get to that point, you might be encouraged by misinformation. You know, seeing people who are apparently doing a lot better than you through social media. The inputs are skewed, and but you’re influenced into to then go and take an action because you feel that you get your perspective as you’re falling behind when actually you’re not. Yeah, yeah. So I think the takeaway from this is really all about just be in control of your own knowledge, knowledge of your own positioning in your own career cycles, and making sure that the information inputs that you’re getting are full and accurate. And along with that comprehensive, unbelievable as well, to some extent, yeah.

I’m all for getting more data. Only I do like a bit of data. But it does seem like there’s a lot of misinformation around potentially just in our environment by and it’s like, how do we sort of step back and be honest with ourselves and get the data from trusted people, as well? So yeah, I think that’s, that’s very good advice. And, you know, there’s been a lot of change over the last couple of years, haven’t they? I mean, I suppose it does look like there might be more I mean, hopefully, hopefully, it’s going to be, we can be optimistic that it’s actually going to get better this year. So I hope, you know, a lot of the forecasts are seen as fact, I think a lot of us hope that they’re wrong. So, you know, and things I think, get better, really. So. Yeah, so we start the year optimistically?

Well, we never know. We never. But I think the point is that, you know, if we acknowledge, just going back to going back to our starting point, if we acknowledge that we are in cycles of beginnings and completions all the time, if we acknowledge that upfront, then we’re in a much better position to be able to control our outcomes. Yep. Because we know it will focus more on where we are in our individual cycles. And the various inputs that are creating self impressions. And they’ll be in a much more solid position to make the right decisions about what’s right for us going forward in a series of changing environments, because it’s always yourself in an environment. Yeah, that is that is the sort of, you know, the going in position, if you like, is always yourself, in the environment in which you find yourself.

I’m pretty sure you said to me before, I know you’ve said to me before, it’s like if you’re in a tough situation now, I mean, I mean, the knowledge that it is a cycle, and you will get through it, because the cycles go round. Yeah, it’s actually pretty reassuring, right? So we think that it is a cycle. And there will be an end to that, at the end. There’ll be a new beginning that kind of happens as well as by definition when there so yeah, absolutely. So I mean, that’s, in some ways, that’s quite reassuring to know that it’s a cycle rather than you know, as much as anything just thinking about it almost like as a circle to a certain extent,

yeah, and change change is constant. And the reason that change is constant is because we are going to be moving through various cycles, as I said, either sequentially or simultaneously. So that is going to happen. But that is what makes up life’s experience. is the combination of those those various cycles that creates our overall life experience. And If you’re in a situation where you can manage those much more skillfully, one would hope that your overall experience would increase. Yeah.

But as ever, it’s a it’s a, it’s always interesting to chat to you, Robin, I appreciate my my personal coaching public coaching session. So, again, and all that I shared too much about my bathtime habits, maybe, but

we can we can talk about that on another day, maybe.

But I do, I do appreciate it. And you know, I know it can get tough out there. But I think this whole concept around endings being beginnings and the cycle and just being honest with yourself and getting on a stage I think I think it’s quite important and you know, clearly can be important for for all of us. So it is and be optimistic as well. Yeah, yeah. So what thanks very much, very much appreciate it.

Thanks, Chris. Nice to speak to you again.

Thanks. All the best

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