Are You A Change Freak?

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Many of us have a healthy respect for change. We know it is always around the corner, yet we don’t necessarily peek our heads out to see it coming. When it knocks on our door, we open it up, smile and configure ways to embrace the new adventure. Can you imagine being someone who lives for change, thrives on constant repositioning like the changing of the guard at a palace?

 I know an amazing woman who resides in a small villa who lives to buy new furniture and rearrange her items on her desk. She grows tired of looking at the same colors and becomes energized when she can surround herself with new books and artifacts. I would go so far as to say she gives away her old (or not so old) possessions so she can justify replacing them with different ones.  Every time I visit, there are new pictures on her walls, each with new themes that she is currently learning about. I adore this woman even though it is challenging for me to keep up with all her changes. This woman is my mother.

 Not everyone does a rain dance for change like my mom, yet most of us want to try new things and shake-up our status quo. We recognize the need for change, even if it comes around at an “inopportune” time.

Here are some ways that have been helpful to me to deal more effectively with change:

 Look for the good: This is of course sometimes easier said then done. I ask myself, “What opportunity can this new situation present?” When our work worlds or personal lives change, we owe it to ourselves to look for ways to make it better. Years ago I was working with a hospital system that decided to change the hours the employees would start and finish their day. The employees were so upset. We first talked about the tumult the change would cause and then we decided to focus on some positive aspects. With the new hours, some of the people could now fit in a haircut, pick up their kids earlier or maybe just have some additional downtime at home. While initially the changed hours seemed unsettling, we learned that some positive elements really did exist.

 Brainstorm new solutions: Working with one of my clients, I realized we had a very different vision of my role within their firm. We enjoyed partnering together, so we decided to brainstorm new ways to approach our joint work. We put on the table all the things we both wanted to accomplish so we each new what was important. Then we just threw out ideas and landed on a great choice- one that we both are thrilled with. Putting our heads and ideas to good use can create extraordinary results.

 Reposition your mindset: When we are asked to make a change that seems frightening to us because we may not feel confident about our skill set or knowledge, it can be helpful to re-think things. Just like the changing of the guard, we may need to switch around our thinking to learn some new tasks or update our tool kit. For many years I knew I was intrigued about personalities and how they impact our behavior. I knew that one of the best instruments to do that was Myers-Briggs. Although I had not taken a course in awhile, I decided to talk myself through this intense learning process. I knew I could do it; I just needed to think about it in a more meaningful and manageable way. When I attained the certification, after mastering the materials and taking the exam, I felt empowered. I had changed my mindset and was successful.

 How do you feel about change? Are you a change freak or welcome it gradually as it comes? What ways have worked for you in dealing with change?

 

16 thoughts on “Are You A Change Freak?

  1. I think your mom and I would get along just fine 😉 I find that as a leader who loves change, it’s so important to slow down and understand that others are not wired the same way. You have a great list of ways to do that.

  2. Thanks for the three great suggestions for dealing more effectively with change. Looking for the good is probably the most challenging step for many. To often we fear change rather than look for the good the might accompany it.

  3. I’m a big believer in switching our thinking to learn new tasks or create new ways of looking at old problems. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut, and the scary thing is that most of the time we’re unaware we’re even in a rut! It’s like those women of a certain age who still use hair spray and think it looks good…they are totally unaware that things around them have changed but they haven’t. Kudos to your mom…sounds like she is constantly re-evaluating her life and her place in it. For most of us, it’s either a threat or a challenge, and it’s up to us to decide which one…

  4. My mom is a hoot, Karin and doesn’t slow down too much. You make such an important point that leaders need to recognize that each of us deals differently with change.

    When we are going through a change, as long as leaders are open about what is happening and respectful of how each person digests a change, then chances are the team will be just fine.

    Thanks!

  5. Looking for ways to embrace the change is so important and figuring out some benefits to us can feel so comforting, Dan.

    Facing the fear and then discovering ways to overcome it is how we empower ourselves to see the change in a better light.

    Thanks Dan!

  6. I agree LaRae that a mindset shift is what is needed to deal more effectively with change and get a handle on its impact on us. Sometimes all it takes is spending time talking things over with a colleague or friend and brainstorming ways to make the change feel more comfortable.

    We need to recognize it, massage it and then integrate it.

    Thanks!

  7. Excellent Post and points Terri. Repositioning mindset is one of my favorites. I think our mindsets can possibly become the biggest hurdle in many cases. Hats off to your mom who is always initiating and welcoming change.

    Thank you for bringing a great insight to change.

  8. You’ve provided some fantastic ways for all us not only to change but to embrace it! I particularly love the brainstorming example that you provided. Yes, change starts with us but we are all in relationship and when we put our cards on the table, connect and engage, we can co-create change together and come out stronger in the end.

    Thanks, Terri!

  9. I agree Lalita that our minds hold an important key to our ability to digest a change and make it meaningful in some way. If we are upset with a change, it is so helpful to figure out how it can be beneficial as well as an opportunity.

    Thanks so much for your comments!

  10. Love your point, Alli how collaboration with others can ease a change and in fact make it more impactful for the entire team! It can be so frustrating to go through a change without the support of others. I so enjoy brainstorming ways to discover a collaborative outcome.

    Thanks for your additions!

  11. Hi Terri, thank for your nice post!

    We live according to what we carry from the ideas, and the relationship between thought and behavior confirms that we are in order to get a positive change in our behavior, we must change the way we think, so that the Proper conduct is proper branch of visualization.

    ( God does not change the condition of people until they change what is in themselves.) (Quran 13:11)

    ((I apologize for my English mistakes)).

  12. Fantastic theme and helpful advice, Terri. Did you know that our brains are naturally wired to fear change – they have a conservative bias. Our brains love predictability. Unpredictable = dangerous. Your mom is clearly an exception to the rule or has changed her thinking by successful mastery of many changes! Mindfulness training can help us to stay grounded amidst the ebbs and flows of life.

  13. Thanks Melanie for stopping by and offering your great additions!

    I didn’t know our brains love predictability although I might have surmised,since people, often resist change naturally. I love the unpredictable=dangerous piece and it makes so much sense. It is difficult for leaders to navigate when there are so many unpredictable changes. They really do become fearful and untrusting.

    And yes, my mom is a breed unto herself. She is very into metaphysics and alternative ways of looking at life.

    Thanks again!

  14. Hi Terri,

    Change is good, energetic and needed by all of us and none of us can deny it. Although, it is quite important to accept the changes that have a positive impact on our life and sometimes.

    Some of the change are destined to happen, whether we want it or not, so why not welcome it happily!

    Just imagine a situation, if we would have been completely against the changes! Don’t you think we had been living like nomads even today!

    Change is the basic fuel behind the Evolution and we can’t stop it even if we try. It is good and yes, I try to bring on positive changes in me as well as in people surrounding me.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts.

  15. Thanks Ashutosh for stopping by and adding your take on change! I agree that change can be good as long as we can reframe our mindset and see its value to us.

    I love your idea of welcoming change happily! That’s a great way to begin a change process!

    Thanks,
    Terri

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