What is change like?
Everything seems to be going perfectly fine. You wake up, get through the day without much thought. You get your friends and family on either side, and you get your work done. Maybe a slight complication here and there but nothing major. Not one hindrance to making you rethink anything that is going on. But life throws in a punch. What you thought was perfectly fine wasn’t. Maybe you lost someone or your job is reconsidering you. Maybe you need to relocate for whatever reasons. There is a huge change coming in your way and you need to face it.
The emotions you feel could make you feel like the world is ending. You might feel lost and confused, which could turn to anger and agitation, or even depression. It’s not easy to go through such major changes. It comes expected sometimes and unexpected at others. Experiencing a change in one area of life can affect the other aspects as well. It is important to understand that many times, change isn’t in our control. What’s in our control is to be able to develop ourselves to be able to handle these changes.
When a problem occurs and you’re confronted with making difficult strategic decisions, remember to follow these guidelines:
- Act quickly and decisively. Don’t put off making a decision.
- Be truthful and trustworthy.
- Don’t try to persuade or appease your folks. This isn’t the right moment. Provide viable options or well-defined next actions.
- Make the best of the ones you have.
- Do not worry or allow your emotions to run wild at this moment. Stay serene, cool, and centered while showing compassion for the circumstance and the persons involved. This will help you and those around you immensely.
Change and Leaders
There are external pressures, which do not include our involvement but can bring about change. Such as political war. The vast majority of individuals have nothing to do with the world’s current state of terror. But it doesn’t mean they’ll be immune to the consequences. Then some internal change occurs as a result of a shift in how you view your life unfolding, as a result of new perspectives on your job, education, relationships, and health. Leaders are those who learn to live with or manage change and generate it and assist others to traverse it effectively.
Dealing with change as a leader is always challenging. You are dealing with human emotions. Changing expectations, changing perspectives, and even just recognizing that your vision doesn’t perfectly align with everyone else’s can be tough. Dealing with change as a leader means knowing what it is you want. What are your values? What are the big picture goals you want to see accomplished? Those things will serve as compass needles guiding your actions. To build something worth seeing, you have to make sure those things are in alignment with the values you have. The first step is identifying your values.
Some certain traits and attitudes need to be adopted to get through the whole process of change. These are common leadership traits that are developed with time. When you look at Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Malala Yousafzai, and many others, you will see that most of them demonstrate these traits when they take their stance.
- Positive attitude
Going through change can cause turmoil of thoughts and emotions. Often it can be going down a darker path and cornering yourself. It can be overwhelming and stressful. It is highly advised to avoid thinking negatively. It is not like constantly thinking about could help make the situation any better. It is normal to do so, however, push yourself to change your train of thought. Change might not be in our control, but we can always learn how to work around it. One of the best ways to approach changes is to see them in a different light. For instance, you got fired from your job because they believed you weren’t efficient enough. You could either break down, curse the organization, drink away your sorrows. A much better alternative would be to take this as an opportunity to look into their feedback and re-evaluate yourself. see if what you are doing is what you are supposed to do, brush up on your skills, and work it out for yourself. It will be difficult but having a positive mindset could work out for you in the long run. Not only when it comes to dealing with changes but also in other aspects of life as well.
Both in your professional and personal life, it is beneficial to have plans and strategies in place. However, when and if the unexpected occurs, and if you are unable to work around it, you will find change difficult to accept. It is necessary to see that with every great preparation, includes exploring alternatives and remaining adaptable yourself. This will be favorable for you. As you will subtly be preparing yourself for any possible outcome. Because life won’t always go according to how you want it to be. There will be a possibility of some sort of obstructions or changes. And when and if these changes occur, you will be mentally prepared to deal with them. Thus, it is necessary to be flexible as it will help you to move around these obstacles and work through the given situation.
There will be times that you won’t be the only one going through change. There will be others who are on the same boat as you. It is vital to bring individuals together to plan and implement change. Successful leaders crossed borders, pushed staff to break out of their shells, and refused to allow unhealthy rivalry to exist. Individuals were also involved in judgment early on, which strengthened their commitment to change. It can be seen when there is an unsuccessful attempt at dealing with change as people fail to include others involved in the process of change early and regularly.
- Seeing the bigger picture
Often when something occurs or decisions have been made that result in changes to the usual routine, it can startle someone. They forget that there is more to it than just the changes alone. Perhaps, a certain decision made could help in the long run. For example, Losing a member of your team isn’t ideal for you, but it’s ideal for them if it’s due to a promotion. It also creates a new opportunity for a junior member to advance in rank or for you to hire fresh talent. You must understand that change is not the end of the world, but rather the start of a new age. It will be difficult as your mind is rummaging through to see how you can cope with the changes. However, if you give yourself a chance to see everything holistically, you will be able to see the next step you can or need to take to better your upcoming future.
- Commit to your values
Leaders that were successful made sure that their personal attitudes and practices supported and even accepted the change. Change can be challenging, but great leaders were resilient and persistent, as well as willing to venture outside their comfort zones. They also invested more from their own time in the reform endeavor and concentrated on the larger picture. Ineffective leaders were frustrated with a lack of outcomes, failed to adjust to obstacles, and voiced pessimism. In order to be able to deal with change, you need to develop and commit to your values and yourself.
There will be instances where you are responsible for any changes that take place. A good leader wouldn’t just pawn off his or her accountability to someone else. Everyone makes mistakes and it’s normal to make them. However, it’s important to recognize them and learn from them. Especially if you are the manager of a team, you need to be a good role model and express yourself in such a way that it’s better to be responsible for any actions taken and learn and improve yourself from it. Because once your team members are aware of the values you hold, they will feel more comfortable with you and try to be as efficient as possible for the betterment of the team.
Unsuccessful leaders were more concerned with the “what” of the change and would only communicate that. An effective leader would convey the “what” and the “why” of the changes that are taking place. So, they do not only address the change but also be able to communicate what is required to those who have to hear it. Leaders should be able to define the objective of the initiative and convey it with the values tied to the entire situation. Or convey the advantages for those who are involved so that everyone together can deal with the changes that are coming on the way.
- Learn as you move
Positive change leaders never imagined they knew everything. They try to learn as they experience something. They ask a lot of questions and get a lot of input, both official and informal. They should be able to make constant modifications as a result of the input and feedback. Leaders that fail to make effective changes might not have asked as many questions or acquire the correct amount of data, leaving them without the information they needed to make necessary modifications along the road. Therefore, whenever you experience a turmoil of events, it’s better to take it as a learning opportunity and be able to move ahead with that.
Focusing on the past will prevent you from progressing, and being “caught in the moment” can be equally detrimental. There is no point dwelling about the past as it has already happened. There is nothing that you can do to change it. You could look ahead and see if there are any opportunities that you can use to improve yourself or the situation. A good leader will take the initiative by looking forward. They can identify where prospective changes could occur as well as the consequences of such adjustments. This entails always being aware of what is going on around them. If a team member puts in their notice of resignation, you should have had some inclination that it was coming.
- Empathy and compassion
The world may be a brutal place at times, and you must have your head in the game at all times. However, you will cease to be a successful leader if you lose sight of the reality that others around you are those who have their thoughts and feelings. They are human beings just as much as you are. Uncertainty comes with change, which makes people uneasy and apprehensive. You don’t have to get all touchy-feely and start embracing everyone, but you do need to consider other people’s feelings, opinions, and worries. Listen carefully to your team and provide the assistance they require while controlling their expectations and guiding them through the transformation process.
Change can be terrifying, but it’s a necessary part of growth. When you accept change, you won’t feel safe or calm. You’ll probably have tough conversations with those around you, many of whom are probably affected by the same forces that are affecting you. Leadership is not about being right all the time. It’s about being right when the time is right. When change comes, it’s a good time to remember that what worked yesterday might not work tomorrow, and vice versa. Effective management necessitates leadership involvement and the implementation of the tactics outlined above. Whereas the steps leaders take to promote change efforts may differ based on their job, purpose, or leadership style, the underlying consistency is their dedication to the endeavor and its success.
Resiliency is necessary for managing change because it allows individuals to cope with the pressures, uncertainties, and setbacks that come with it. Leaders must develop their own reserves and resiliency in order to maintain their mental and physical well-being. Have change at the forefront of your thoughts as you lead, and take action.
Drive change in a way that engages, inspires and motivates you and those around you to reach desired outcomes. Make little changes to create an environment that allows your people to improve their absolute best. When necessary, request that people adjust their conduct. Along the process, continue to change and build your own leadership habits so that you may become a better leader.