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Building Your Change Toolkit

Change can be difficult to deal with if you aren’t prepared for it. Plumbers, carpenters, even project managers all have toolkits to deal with whatever comes their way, why not have a toolkit to be prepared for change? Change comes at us every day from small things like grabbing a new drink at the gas station, or bigger things like a new team member! Here are four tools to help you plan for any change that comes your way, big or small.  


The Change Cycle 

One thing that can help you work through a change is understanding what stage of the transition process you are in. We’ve written about them many times before 

  • Stable in A
  • Letting Go of A 
  • The Unstable Period 
  • Taking Hold of B 
  • Stable in B 

No matter how much we want the change or how quick it is, we will still see all five stages of the process. Even in the change that we see coming and desire, there could still be a part of you that wishes things stayed the same. It’s important to work through each stage, but also not to get stuck in any one of them. Understanding where you are is step number one.  


Consider Your Appetite 

But not just your appetite for change, I recommend observing the appetites of everyone around you too. What seems exciting for one may not be exciting for all. Think about the last change you went through…did you want to change? Was your response to the change different than a year ago? If you are choosing change, ensure to plan for the change appetite of you and those around you before letting go of A. Once you’ve identified your appetites, you can find the right messages for each stage along the way! And don’t forget to plan for… 



You need to listen to your body. Transition and change can be stressful. If you don’t take the time to let yourself unwind and relax, you’re going to take yourself apart trying to hold yourself together. If you understand your own appetite, as I said before, then you should know when you’re at your limit, or “full” on change. Pushing yourself harder can lead to poor results in the end, so if you feel the need to step away: step away! In contrast to overexerting yourself, by taking the time to readjust and reorient before diving back into the change, you can make your work even better! 


Communicate, Communicate, Communicate 

I don’t think I can stress the importance of this one enough. Communication might be one of the strongest tools you can utilize during change. Text messages, water cooler conversations, dinner with colleagues, emails, phone calls; keep sharing the why behind the change consistently over all of the different channels available to you so that everyone can hear it when they are ready. You’ve likely heard me say, seven times seven ways and that applies here and more.  


So there you have it, a change toolkit equipped with a change process, understanding change appetite, breaks, and communication! The next time you find yourself prepping for or in a change, you can pull out your handy dandy toolkit to make it go even better 


What about you? What’s in your change toolkit?  




Topics: Sinikka Waugh, Change & Transition

Sinikka Waugh

About the Author

Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka Waugh is a recognized leader in understanding people and in adapting tools, techniques, and processes to meet the demands of the situation at hand. Since 2006, Sinikka has provided compassionate leadership in transformation initiatives. When she isn’t in front of a class, she enjoys putting her background in English and French Literature to work, by writing blogs about the subjects she teaches every day. Are you ready? If you are, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!








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