Change How You Think About Change
“Even thinking about the topic of change can be stressful.” ~ Tammi Spayde
That’s one of the important points made this week by my panel of leadership experts as we discussed how leaders need to approach the topic of change. She’s right, of course. Something about the idea of change itself sets off a “fight or flight” instinct. For leaders, that’s a problem. Because we’re expected to both manage change well for ourselves and determine its direction for our organizations. Neither fight nor flight are appropriate leadership responses to that key requirement.
If you listen to this week’s episode, you’ll hear us go through seven skills that I think everyone—but especially leaders—need to focus on to help create and guide positive change. And the first of those is “visualize the change.”
“See a future, then connect yourself to it—you can only create what you can see.” – Chip Nilges
Visualizing success is an important skill for any situation. Before I give a talk or a lecture, I always visualize myself enjoying the experience. I picture an engaged audience that feels encouraged to ask questions. I see everything going right. Which helps create the mindset and conditions for success.
7 Ways to Manage Change
- Visualize the change.
- Plan the change.
- Look for the positive.
- Take action.
- Take care of your health.
- Practice gratitude,
- Create the future.
In terms of change management, many people start by immediately creating a list of what could go wrong. That can be important! Some people are great at contingency planning and knocking down roadblocks before they occur. Some people want to understand the guardrails; what things won’t change. That can be for comfort’s sake, or to make sure that changes occur within a framework of acceptable outcomes. But as a leader, you are uniquely required to “see” the positives of the future you’re driving towards. Others on your team can help manage and finesse and execute change. You need to visualize it. First for yourself, then others.
“Get a coalition of the willing on board that can complement each other.” – Drew Bordas
And I’ll leave you with a bit of a personal leadership challenge today. Start visualizing how you’re going to be better… at change. Start thinking, ahead of time, about how you don’t need to dwell on those fight-or-flight feelings. See yourself building teams of people whose different skills and attitudes towards change can work together more successfully. Imagine yourself as a leader who others will follow into new places because you create excitement about change.
“Ask yourself the question, ‘What could go well here?’ to solidify positive thinking.” – Tammi Spayde
As always, my guests on the panel have some great ideas to help you on your way. Listen in and change how you think about change.
“Change doesn’t just happen to you—you create it. You are not a victim.” – Skip Prichard
Quotes on Change
Some of the quotes mentioned on change:
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy
“Change can be scary, but you know what’s scarier? Allowing Fear to stop you from Growing, Evolving, and Progressing.” –Mandy Hale
“When we are no longer able to change a situation—we are challenged to change ourselves.” –Viktor Frankl
Image Credit: Ross Findon