The Journey of Transition
Change is hard, and it’s scary. It takes a lot of time, effort, and brainpower. It’s another thing when you are in charge of leading a team of people through it! Change is not something we can avoid, but we can learn to better deal with it. We can make the process a little easier. Let’s take the challenge of change and transition head-on, and become better because of it.
We’ve been talking about the journey of transition for years. As you’re moving from “A” - where you’re at now - to “B” - where you are trying to get to ; there is a journey of highs and lows.
Particularly as a leader, you come face to face with obstacles and questions about change. Without having all the answers (because there will always be unknowns - this is life after all) here are a few tidbits for dealing with change, and those questions that most frequently come up.
Do I need to push or pull off of “A”?
In other words, does my team need a push to get from “A” to “B”, or will I need to pull them off of “A”? The answer depends on the person. Do they need us to pull them along, or push them to greatness? Do they need us to hold their hand, or give them a nudge? Take the time to figure out what each person needs, and do that.
How do you get everybody on board with “B”?
How will you help them see the good in “B”, and come along with you on the journey? Well, the truth is, everyone may not get to “B” - and that’s okay. It’s more important that everyone is happy and healthy, than that everyone is at the same place. Some may need to move to a different “B” or a different part of the organization, or a different organization altogether.
What if you have to change again before “B”? What if “A” really was better?
These are tough, but they happen. We’re human! One strategy is to ask for grace, which is way easier to do when you’ve made a habit of giving grace. Pause, acknowledge that where we were going wasn’t exactly where we thought we were headed. We have NEW information now that changes what we thought we knew, and a new course is necessary. Look for the key themes that we know for sure are still true of the “B” we’re headed for, and hold on to those.
What do we do when the journey from “A” to “B” is interrupted? What happens when “B” actually becomes “C”?
Acknowledge it; talk about the shift. Don’t do it “accidentally;” rather be intentional about the shift and know whether it’s necessary. As with the similar item above, pause, acknowledge that where we were going wasn’t exactly where we thought we were headed. We have new information now that changes what we thought we knew, and a new course is necessary. Look for the key themes that we know for sure are still true of the “B” we’re headed for, and hold on to those.
How do you know when all are at “B”?
This answer challenges how perceptive you can be. Listen for the reduction in messages of struggle, disappointment, and discouragement. Listen instead for a vocabulary change, messages of arrival, accomplishment, and satisfaction. In the end, offer celebration and recognition; your team deserves it for completing the journey with you!
Again, change is difficult, but no one goes it alone! There are resources out there, just like this one, to help everyone along the way. A few that Your Clear Next Step can offer are found on the Change & Transition page of our website, such as the Change & Transition Infographic, and the webinar How To Lead Change From The C-Suite.
Was this resource valuable to you? How have you handled journeys of change? Let us know in the comments!