Imagine that you are in a comfortable rhythm playing well in the sandbox … and then everything changes. Change is inevitable. Things always change and we get out of balance.
In my next book, Sandbox strategies in the workplace, conflict resolution from the inside outI draw attention to the parallels between business and our younger years in the sandbox game. Do you remember the intrigue we feel to continually build because when we play with sand we accept impermanence? Everything was always changing, and even today, nothing is set in the sand.
When we step out of our comfort zone, into the unknown, we feel fear and frustration, and we begin to make judgments. But … what if we could decide to change those feelings into something more productive and peaceful?
Fear ⇒ Emotion?
Frustration ⇒ Courage?
Judgment ⇒ Curiosity?
As I work with different people and organizations, I realize that some people have decided be excited, brave and curious about the potential this CoVid pandemic will provide, and others have decided being caught up in fear and frustration. Either way is not right or wrong … it just is what it is.
Each has been given the same set of circumstances and the same options for deciding. ???
- If you could choose between fear and excitement, which would you choose? And because ??
- If you could choose between frustration and anger, which would you prefer? And because ??
- If you could choose between judgment and curiosity, which would you prefer? And because ??
The reason I end each of these questions with “why?” it is because you cannot change what you do not recognize. You can dig in here and be really honest with yourself as to why you decide to be for or against the circumstances.
If you are excited, courageous and curious, congratulations. You are very proactive and influential, and your team needs you. The greatest leaders cannot lead without the commitment of those who follow them. Great decision! But it is not easy. Your area of influencing muscles is exercised and strengthened. The world needs more like-minded people. ???
If you are standing in fear and frustration, know that you are in charge, this is your litter box and you can change the grains of sand however you want decided.? Either decision will cost you energy and effort, the real question is, what outcome do you want?
If you are leading a change, empathize with the way people think and feel about the change, and how you might change your emotional response to one of enthusiasm, courage, and curiosity. A first step would be to recognize what has been lost. Don’t miss out on this step. The greatest need of the human spirit is the need to FEEL understood, so empathy is very critical and very valuable.
Embrace change because the high cost of fear is avoidable and the gains can be used for better things.