(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)
When you make a shift, you have a breakthrough and you act differently as a result. A shift is accompanied by a change of form or character. Therefore a shift includes action.
When you increase awareness, you see things more clearly but you haven’t necessarily changed. Awareness is about possessing knowledge and may not include action.
For example, you may be aware that you have a tendency to dominate your employees rather than inspire them to be their best. When you make the shift to being a leader rather than a manager, you let go of the need to supervise every aspect of your employees’ work and focus instead on articulating what is most important to the functioning of your company.
You know you’ve shifted if you not only are more aware but are also acting differently. Awareness happens in your head. You feel a shift in your body.
Copyright 1998 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.