I’m thinking about change. In particular I’m thinking about the moments we pass through during change initiatives and the importance of honoring these moments.
I am convinced that effective organizations understand the necessity of change, and I am certain that effective leaders are good change managers. Sometimes in our haste to implement change initiatives, we miss the moments that count.
When I facilitate workshops on change, we begin with ourselves. I ask participants the following:
- What was one significant change event you have experienced thus far in your life?
- Was this change optional, inevitable, mandated by someone, and/or out of your control?
- Did this change event result in positive, neutral or negative results?
- Did you learn anything about yourself because you experienced this change?
- How would you complete this sentence?
“If this change had not occurred in my life, I __________________________.”
As I wander around the room, observing participants answer these questions within their small group, I frequently see eyes brimming with tears. Change can be emotional; it’s a heart and head experience, and it’s important for leaders to remember this.
Resistance to change can be irritating and frustrating to leaders who are responsible for facilitating the way forward. Frequent and effective communication is key: before, during and after the change initiative has taken place. And making space for some feelings, without judgment and impatience, can also enhance progress.
Change is emotional.