At the beginning of this year, we determined to push the button on a house move realising that this would mean wrestling with change as a result. What we didn’t know at the time was how elongated the change would be. Although we moved out at the end of April it is only this week we move into the new property. An unexpected transition of six months.
Each of you deal with change in a different way. The decision that leads to change is a realisation that where you are is not where you want to be. Change is led by a desire for a different result; that what you see around you, whether it is your house move or your team’s performance or even the fulfilment you get from your job, is not the reality you want. Change is always more challenging because it doesn’t just change your environment it challenges you on the inside.
“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” John Maxwell
How do you react to change?
Are you excited at the prospect of new things? Do you wonder what new opportunities will appear as a result? Are you fearful of how the change will impact you? Are you dreading having to make new relationships or learn new ways of doing things?
Whatever your reaction to change is, it is crucial to realise that personality (your hard-wired tendencies) play a significant part in how you will deal with change. Some of you are what you might call change junkies, and others of you are those who would be happy if things didn’t change at all.
The world in which you and those who you lead live is changing constantly. Change has become a constant.
As a leader how can you react to and lead change well?
1. Realise change is inevitable and accept it; if you want to grow you must change.
2. Understand clearly how you react to change. Become self aware so you can lead yourself well. Put your concerns and your anticipation on paper and ask yourself what is driving those thoughts.
3. Realise people react to change differently. Make sure you know who is on your team. Be prepared to offer information in different ways which will help those you lead navigate the change.
4. Be careful of your self-talk. Think carefully about what you say to yourself. Be constructive and wrestle through any limiting beliefs getting in the way.
5. Understand what you can do. Don’t worry about what you can’t. You can make sure you have as much information as necessary to make the change. Then manage your thinking to react to the change in the best way possible.
“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” — John Wooden
6. When initiating change you will draw on the reserves of trust you have with those you lead. Make sure you communicate well, be clear on what is happening, and as much as possible take the time to hear team members’ concerns.
“Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.” — Victor Hugo
Finally, when you have worked out your values – the things which are non-negotiable – then decisions about whether the change gets you to where you want to be become easier. Know your roots.
As we move house, I am looking forward to being in a place where we can hang our own pictures, now we’re on the other side of this change. Keep growing and let me know your tips for dealing with change.
Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash