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Change: How do I react?

We are continuing to experience unprecedented times (in my lifetime..) of change right now and the challenge of the change varies depending upon who we are and what is happening to us. We are experiencing changes as individuals but also as communities and coalitions and partnerships. We spent the past thirteen weeks walking through facilitating online meetings. For some of our partners, this was an easy transition and they were very comfortable with the change but for others it has been incredibly difficult and discouraging. If we are going to lead our coalitions and partnerships well, we need to start with understanding our own reaction to change and then we can also help support our coalitions in managing change – recognizing that many different people in the coalition will react very differently. Join me this week as I highlight 3 important questions to reflect upon as you consider your reaction to change.

  1. What important areas of my life are changing (have changed)? This first question may have multiple answers. You may be experiencing changes in your home situation, your relationships and your work. You may also be experiencing changes in your coalition. For instance, one group I’m working with has expressed concern that many of their most active coalition participants are not contributing at all anymore. This is a big change!  Take time to reflect on both aspects of this question: 1. What is important to you? and 2. What is changing/has changed related to what is important to you?
  2. How am I reacting to the change? You will likely have different reactions to different changes. And this can vary based on personality. If you tend to be an introvert (energized by being by yourself or in one-on-one settings), then some of these changes related to social distancing and spending less time with people may even be a positive experience for you. If you are an extrovert (energized by being with people), you may find yourself really struggling with the changes that involve less time with people (or particularly less in-person time).  It’s important to take time to reflect on how you are reacting to the change and even write down your thoughts or ideas about the change. You may want to also share some of these thoughts and reactions with trusted friends and colleagues who can support you in these times of change.
  3. What would I do if I weren’t afraid? I had the opportunity to lead a training on change management a few months ago and I re-read the old leadership book, Who Moved My Cheese? This was one of the questions that really struck me in this book. It requires a lot of vulnerability and courage (yes, Brené Brown). It’s a great question! I encourage you to take some time to reflect on this question for yourself. If you weren’t afraid, would you courageously say “no” to some requests or expectations without feeling like you need to explain yourself? Would you develop the new idea or intervention you have been thinking about for a long time but aren’t sure it will even work?  Would you be honest with your colleagues when you disagree with them about something important to you? Would you seek out a counselor to help you walk through some of the areas of life that may be most challenging for you right now?

I realize that taking time to reflect on change may be difficult – both finding the time and reflecting on the changes! I encourage you to invest in yourself – and in your coalition by taking some time to reflect on these questions. 

So what about you? What are you going to do this week to reflect on how change is impacting you?

If you missed my Facebook Live on this post, check it out here!

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

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