Summary: Change is inevitable. However, how you address change management is the key to success. Not just win, to a positive and creative life. Here are some thoughts to consider.
I know that we have all been thrown into change—more change than we’ve ever expected to experience in our lifetimes. Usually, when difficulties hit, they are local or regional. Not this time, now it is global. So how do we figure what really matters as we begin to create the new normal?
Change management is a required course for everyone.
For instance, I want to share the story where the president of a company I work with recently called me and said the following:
“I am sick of all the do’s and dont’s presented to me right now. Look, I don’t want to change. I like who I am. People tell me how smart and capable I am. And I’m damn mad that I find my route to success hijacked. I want everything to return to normal so that I can get back to business as usual.”
Eventually, he stopped his ranting about life not being fair. At some point, he calmed down about all his hard work going down the tubes. Finally, he took a breath and got quiet.
Change management is critical when the world seems upside down
He began again.
Only this time I heard a quiver in his voice as he said quietly, “Everything I have worked for all these years may have been a big waste of time.”
I said the magic words I so often teach people to say when someone is upset.
Change can be managed by asking “tell me more.”
When things seem out of control, it is best to let the upset run its course. Then there is that moment of quiet when you can utilize the skills of change management.
Moreover, this is when stress is high, and there is a requirement to help someone (or yourself) think more clearly.
Three magic words open you to deeper levels for better solutions.
Ask questions and then be quiet for change management to work.
“TELL ME MORE.” That was all I requested and then I shut up.
It took him a few extra seconds before he began again.
“I’m scared. Then what I do is worry about the future. I also worry about my staff. Furthermore, I constantly worry about my family. I don’t know what else to do.”
I sat and waited. My nod on that Zoom call was one of “Okay, tell me more.” (I didn’t say it, I just waited).
And then he finally tapped into what I have labeled “the F word.”
Feelings cannot be ignored when change is in the air.
He started to talk about his FEELINGS.
As more information about neuropsychology becomes available we know, that emotions and facts cannot live without each other. It really is impossible to think without feeling.
No matter how hard you want to compartmentalize, emotions push their way to couple with logic.
My question to him, and to you is, “How do you handle the worry you have about things you cannot control?”
You can manage change even when you can’t control the whole situation.
Look, everyone worries about the state of the world right now. When will things return to ‘business as usual?
I believe it will become “business as unusual.”
Do you have any guesses about what your work world will look like six months or a year from now?
Now is the time to re-think and re-feel what really matters as we begin to create the new normal.
Manage change with the triple bottom line in focus.
That triple bottom line is more important than ever before: people, planet, profits.
Back to my client.
He started to respond in his typical manner (the main reason he became a client) to blame, judge, and justify.
“It’s his fault, her fault, their fault.”
Yet, very quickly he realized he was reverting to old, outdated ways of responding.
Then very quietly he said, “I don’t know how to react when I’m not in control.”
Ah, he was now ready, I was ready, we were ready
Time for a change of mindset.
Change management means a change of mindset.
You can’t practice it like you do a golf swing.
Or, maybe it’s not so different.
You look at the ball and check with your eyes to see where you want it to go. You take a deep breath and use the best techniques you have learned to let the golf club make the ball go where you think it should go.
And then you wait.
You watch the air take the ball to wherever.
Instead of the physical world of golf clubs and golf balls, it’s the world of mindsets and reactions.
You practice almost like you would with a golf swing. By observing yourself differently and the way you have ordered your world.
When change is in the air first observe how you traditionally react.
You spend time addressing what triggers you to upset. Then you stop long enough to look at where you want your reactions to go. You take a deep breath and use the best techniques you have learned to get your response where you think it should be.
And then you wait.
You watch your reaction take your words wherever.
And then you wait.
Control what you can and then you can pivot to a better solution.
The more you attempt to control everything, the more stress you feel.
Sometimes you win and other times you don’t.
Yet, you keep practicing to get the best outcome possible.
Once my client could relate to our session like a golf lesson, he was more ready to do his best and let go of things out of his control.
Can you do the same?
Here’s to your success.
PS. My book “Invisible STRESS (It’s NOT What YOU Think!) has excellent advice. You learn about how you can manage the stress of change effectively.
PSS. Our coaches are here to help. Contact us to play change like a great game of golf.