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MANAGING CHANGE - part 1
WHEN CHANGE IS NOT THE GOAL!
A friend once shared some helpful tips with me on achieving change when change is the goal -
losing weight, saving money, developing an exercise routine.
What about change that is not a choice, change that happens to us whether we want it or not?
How do we manage the loss, frustration, fear that may accompany the
gain, excitement & learning as a result of unasked for, yet unavoidable change?
As we age changes occur that we expect, others that come without ever a thought turned in that direction.
I have been a singer since the age of 3. I was pretty good too, winning awards in high school
& fan appreciation (soldiers at Fort Knox, KY cheered any attractive female) during my wild & adventurous 20's.
I continued to sing a little; frequently at weddings & of course at church.
Several years ago my self-identity as a "pretty good singer" changed. I knew my voice was not what it had been,
yet until that last Sunday that I sang I didn't know how much change had been thrust upon me.
I sang solos on two consecutive Sundays.
Each time my voice cracked & I had difficulty remaining on pitch (ha, I was no where near pitch).
It was painful physically. It was even more painful emotionally.
So much so that after I sang that 2nd Sunday I went to the bathroom, cried & swore to give up singing.
My daughter who always disliked change married a Navy man (ironic) & has moved across counrty multiple times.
Thank goodness for cell phones & calling plans.
Calling mom helped, talking it out & shedding a few tears also helped make the changes bearable & less scary.
My 4 TOOLS for managing unavoidable change:
Start expecting the unexpected.
We may not know what or when IT will be but we know there will be an IT eventually.
Set a time limit to acknowledge loss & pain.
Don't ignore IT, IT'S real whatever IT is. Cry; feel it for 5 minutes, 20 minutes, a day - then move on.
Plan ahead. Know who you can talk to - to vent/to talk about what you can do. Then do it.
Make the call, take a walk or eat the banana split. Do what perks you up & feel better.
Find the positive hidden in the loss. Concentrate on, explore & enjoy it.
Back to the singing. I followed my own advise.
1. This revelation had been making itself known over time so I wasn't shocked, only sad.
2. I only cried for 2 minutes; for the moment enough. More pain later. I will sing again with lower self expectations.
3. Having a column to write about the expereince helped me to vent & cope.
After each service people complimented me. They were sincere. My voice isn't bad, just not the quality it was prior.
4. That's the Hidden positive & is will be enough.
Next Elevator - Change part 2 - "Why Change is Necessary" bye, Marta