It seems that these days the world is in a constant state of change. Covid-19 has changed the way we work, the way we communicate, and the way we live. The term “new normal” seems like a cliché, however we are living it daily.

Why does change create anxiety, fear, and at times even anger?


People do not naturally resist change itself, we resist BEING changed.

We feel safe with what we know. We like to plant our feet firmly on the ground and stay put in our perceived comfort zone.

But a large part of leading involves helping others through change…

And the best way to help someone in a period of change is by understanding what thoughts may be running through their mind.


When Change Happens, 4 Things We Often Feel:


1) We feel awkward and self-conscious doing something new.

When it’s new, we haven’t figured things out yet and are often afraid to look silly. We don’t want to lose grip on stuff that we already know how to do. We want to stay in control.

How to help:
As leaders, remind your teams that change is necessary for growth and that we all have to start somewhere. After introducing a change, give them space to take ownership; Let them find a process that works for them while still adhering to whatever the change may be.


2) We feel nervous about what we may have to give up.

It’s natural for all of us to worry about what we’re giving up for change. But a lot of that fear stems from preconceived notions about what will happen if we let go of our old ways.

Yes, it’s scary to let go of old habits or processes, but it’s an unavoidable part of moving ahead in life.

How to help:
Often what our teams are giving up is an outdated way of doing something. Remind them of the bigger picture, that the world is constantly changing. It’s imperative we adjust ourselves accordingly in order to keep up. We can still celebrate positive aspects of the past while adopting new ideas that will improve our present and future.


3) We feel afraid of being ridiculed.

We don’t want to be called out if we don’t execute the change flawlessly. Many of us are afraid to look bad. We don’t want to feel stupid. We have doubts that we will be able to adjust or learn new things.

How to help:
Do your best to remove or minimize discomfort by providing as much information and training resources as you can. Set your team up for success wherever possible.


4) We feel alone in the process of changing.

Anxiety often rises when things change. It can force us to look at ourselves in a new light and take stock of our shortcomings. We fear what we have to offer will not be enough, and that no one can relate.

How to help:
Assure your team members that you’ve got their back. Encourage them to address their anxieties. Offer support systems that will remind them that they’re not alone in their feelings.


Change is Inevitable.

I think we can all agree that right now everyone is experiencing various degrees of change stemming from the pandemic and the BLM movement.

As leaders we need to realize that we have to be patient with our people when leading them through change. We need to make the change as positive as we can for each person, but at the same time balancing the reality and necessity of it.

Don’t introduce change to your team for the sake of change. Make it meaningful and commit fully.


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