When you decide to compete in a sporting event or run a marathon would you just turn up on the day and start? Or would you do some training, reflect on your progress during the preparation and ensure that you were ready to tackle the challenge?
While people will put in different levels of effort, most people would do some form of training before competing.
Those that want to win or beat their personal best time would develop a training regime, prepare rigorously, monitor progress and alter their approach if the training wasn’t giving them the desired results. They’d also enlist support from experts or friends to help keep them on track.
Being physically and mentally prepared helps ensure you finish the race and often with less injuries.
This same level of preparation, planning and effort is necessary if you want to thrive through change in your personal life and work life.
The more you are prepared for it, the better you are able to cope with it and ultimately adapt faster to the new environment and new ways of working.
Self-mastering change isn’t about luck, it’s about planning, practice and persistence.
If you want to know how ready you are to embark on change, it’s helpful to take a quick stocktake on your readiness by asking yourself:
- How physically, mentally and emotionally resilient are you? This is about uncovering the depth and breadth of your bandwidth for change. The more flexible and adaptable you are, the more likely you are to welcome change and see it as invigorating.
- How tolerant are you to ambiguity and disorder? With any change there are periods of instability, uncertainty and disruption. The more you are able to thrive in these types of environments, the less disturbing you’ll find the change itself.
- How do you react when things go wrong? Change always involves innovation and things invariably don’t go according to plan as there are often many unknowns. How you react to mistakes and your ability to learn from those mistakes, are a hallmark of whether you have a fixed or growth mindset. Having a growth mindset is key to thriving through change.
- How attuned are you to others and their needs? This is about broadening your field of view when people and situations around you are changing, such that you don’t just focus on what it means for you, but you consider the impact on others.
- Are you emotionally invested in the change? Do you care enough, too much or not all? Your level of emotional investment will influence how much effort you put into making the change work for you and those around you.
- Are you willing to invest time and energy into acquiring new skills and capabilities? To adapt to the new environment, you will need to do things differently, learning new skills and capabilities, as well as challenging existing assumptions.
Once you’ve assessed your readiness you are better placed to then determine the steps you need to take to get your training regime in place so you are match fit for change.
This takes effort.
As Fred Devito, who was the first male barre teacher in the world and an expert in this field, is known to say: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”.
So next time you are faced with a change take time to plan your personal training regime so you are ready to not just cope with the change, but to thrive through it.
Change happens. Make it work for you.
Michelle Gibbings is a change leadership and career expert and founder of Change Meridian. Michelle works with global leaders and teams to help them get fit for the future of work. She is the Author of ‘Step Up: How to Build Your Influence at Work’. For more information: www.michellegibbings.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.