The time of change or transformation in an organisation presents a number of challenges to an individual, team and across all organisational levels. It is very often linked to a prolonged time of uncertainty. You might be guided by your HR partner or your senior leadership teams regarding the communication and steps you need to take as a leader or manager. Unfortunately, you don’t always get a manual on how to approach change personally. Based on my coaching practice, I would like to share 3 practical insights that can support you navigate this time successfully.
1. Prepare yourself for the emotional roller coaster
When people face change, which can be linked to changing their team, responsibilities or being made redundant, they are very likely to experience a range of emotions. We can refer to Dr Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ Curve of Change, which presents stages of shock, denial, anger, fear, acceptance and commitment to the new reality. In practical terms, it means that your team, peers, leaders and YOU can go through these emotions at a different pace, time and intensity. Having awareness that these reactions are normal, helps you recognise and accept them, as eventually, they will pass. As you are embarking on this emotional journey, to effectively support others, it is highly advisable to look after your mental well-being first. I would like to encourage you to consider the questions below:
- What activities/ practices or techniques can you prioritise on a regular basis that can build your mental strength?(For example: meditation, mindfulness, walks in nature, yoga, breathing techniques, journaling)
- What may you need to say ‘no’ to, in order to create more mental space for yourself? (For example, not overcommitting to kids’ extracurricular activities, deciding to delay a house project by a few months)
- What support would you need at work and in your home life to smoothly navigate this challenging period? (For example, pushing a deadline on a project, getting a cleaner, or a babysitter)
2. Analyse your skills, interests and accomplishments
The time of change brings risks but also opportunities. Potentially, new roles or even new teams might be created as a result of the change or transformation, introducing new ways of working. As a leader or manager, naturally, you will actively think about your team in terms of protecting their jobs or based on their transferable skills, potentially redeploying them in a similar team or role. I would like to encourage you to focus on your position as well. Get clarity on the current moment of your career and what you can offer your current organisation or your potential future employer. Please write down:
- Your recent successes and accomplishments (be specific and try to use measurable results).
- Your top skills.
- Your values and motivators (they will help you guide you in your decisions).
- Projects/ business areas/ specific topics you are passionate about.
Once you complete your list, consider how your skills could be transferred to a different role or team. It will allow you to see more opportunities.
3. Talk to your network both internally and externally
In times of team restructures and organisational transformations, when you can sense the possibility of changing a role internally or externally, it is advisable to refresh your connections. When you have a conversation with your peers and other leaders in your organisation, think about what you would like them to remember about you from the conversation. If you are in the position that your role is made redundant, can you leverage your network? Some of your peers or team members may be made redundant or decide to take voluntary redundancy.
They will find jobs in different organisations, connect with them on LinkedIn, and stay in touch as they may be able to recommend you for other roles. Think about your networks – friends, ex-colleagues, other parents from your kids’ school, gym buddies, all different social groups you are a part of, would it be beneficial to refresh some of your connections? It is worth keeping in mind that although you may not see immediate results from these catch-ups, they really work like stock investments. The more diversified your ‘portfolio’, the more likely you are to see a return on investment.
If you are experiencing organisational change at work and would like some help navigating a path forward, please get in touch to arrange a no-obligation discovery call and see how executive career coaching maybe able to support your needs.