Why Change is Hard
Why is change so hard? It's not hard because change is hard. It is because the support system we build up around ourselves changes and it makes us feel vulnerable.
Think for a moment about walking away from your peer group, or from your church. Even with sufficient notice, the anticipation of the change causes our pulse to quicken and palms to sweat.
Your support group also includes your family. Leaving home to begin college or after you get married is so exciting we do not even think about it at the time, but once it happens, we can feel lost. Those important connections that hold us up, even just by their existence, are removed and life becomes a tightrope.
I believe this is what happens to many people after they retire. The support group and culture of the work environment becomes a comforting constant for people. Our expectations are met every day because we know what we are walking into with not too many surprises. We have our friends we go on break with or travel to conferences with. Once those are gone, we are forced to make new alliances. We no longer know who we can and can not trust so we are guarded in our behavior.
When implementing change in your organization, you must keep these things in mind. Assure your staff that you will work through the changes together, being sensitive to their needs, but that you will indeed make the changes. Be prepared to answer a multitude of questions about things that do not seem important. They are important to someone so take them seriously.
When have you witnessed someone successfully lead through change? Share your experience here.
-Joanne Randall, Leap Year Marketing