I asked the question above to one of my coworkers when they were bemoaning the constant change that has been happening and how so much has been lost. This question stunned them immediately and the retreat began on how changes had not only led to some loss (which it had) but the discussion also brought about realization and acknowledgement that the changes had also brought positive things and even gains to our work and lives. It is certainly easy to fall into a trap of longingly looking to the past and missing things as they were. However, it is a choice to be made to look at the possibilities that change can bring and embrace the many additions that it can bring. When remembering the past, we have tendency to reflect solely on the good pieces of our memories while suppressing the bad times or events that went with them.
As a leader in an organization, it’s important that we regard change not as a mechanism for loss, but as an opportunity to grow and expand our horizons. Share examples from your own change events that demonstrate this. These stories can be powerful tools to show a little of yourself while emphasizing the ultimate outcome that has happened to date.
Ralph Waldo Emerson captured this sentiment beautifully when he said:
“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.”
As we wrap this year please go ahead and add to your life through change!
I think smart leaders strive to understand what people perceive as being lost and the meaning that might be associated with it. Sometimes simply acknowledging others’ perspectives helps them become more open to see what will be gained by the change.
This is a great point, Jeffrey. It’s easy to minimize or even attempt to sweep under the rug concerns held by those that perceive a potential loss. The Streisand effect will us this will only exacerbate the situation, and have the opposite effect regarding perception of loss. Concerns must be met and acknowledged openly – this level of engagement does wonders for the person wanting to be heard about how such a loss might effect them, and will lead to them acknowledging and internalizing the benefits of change.