Change - Accept it or else...
No matter what anybody says, CHANGE is difficult. Yes, for all of us, because we all deal with CHANGE on our own time schedules. The reality is that CHANGE is a way of life in 2013 that causes stress all around us - both good and less-than-stellar stress.
So take a minute to ponder. When you hear, "Change - Accept it or else...," what thoughts and/or feelings does that congure?
- Are "them fightn' Words" to you?
- Do you get the fight or flight instincts?
- Does your blood pressure soar?
- Do you feel helpless or frustrated?
Or, do you:
- Take the news in stride by trying to control your negative emotions?
- Direct your thoughts towards more healthy ways to cope?
I'm guessing we would all like to believe that we have our emotions intact, but the skyrocketing sales of antidepressants and muscle relaxers tell a different story.
Let's take this a step further:
According to the Leadership Letters, "Even when a major change is clearly necessary and beneficial, it is stressful and painful for people. Change causes adjustment, discomfort, disruption and dislocation. A vital part of the process of implementing change involves motivating and supporting people."
As leaders need to be aware of how the changes we are implementing and simply discussing in our companies are affecting our employees and contractors. After all, without them, we wouldn't be in business!
When I first started out as a trainer, one of my projects was to teach a stress and burnout workshop for a Fortune 100 financial firm. Green behind the ears, I didn't realize what a huge benefit it was for those employees to work for a company that valued them enough to teach them how to recognize negative stressors in their personal and professional lives and learn techniques for managing stress in positive ways. We taught them how to breathe, control their thoughts and change activities that negatively impacted them physically and mentally.
The company had an in-house gym with personal trainers who were there for the benefit of the employees. Yeah, healthy employees make for healthy companies, so it was a win-win for all concerned.
Assignment: Take time each week to speak with your people. Find out how they are doing and if/how they are dealing with the changes in your company.
Find out if they are :
- Accepting of changes around them,
- Adapting to changes around them, and
- Adopting the changes in their worldview.
For the people who are Accepting, Adapting and Adopting - Great.
For the people who are struggling with CHANGE, make time in your schedule to help them if you can. Simply sending the message to accept it or else ... won't cut it! For our companies to succeed, we need everyone involved and invested in change in a healthy manner.
Thanks for listening. I'd appreciate hearing your change stories - successes and failures. Remember: Most of us learn more from our mistakes, but we don't all have to make the same mistakes if we learn from each other!