I bet you've heard people say, "I really don't like change," or "they are really change adverse."
How often have you heard someone say, "I love change!" or "Change is a great opportunity!"?
Change can be scary in some instances, but it can nearly always be a learning experience. Sometimes the smallest of changes can alter your path dramatically.
For example, today, my mother found a letter I wrote to John Schneider when I was 9, where I professed my love for him and wanted a signed photo for my locker. She obviously never sent it, so my opportunity to become Mrs. John Schneider ended! Oh, the travesty!
Seriously, learning to adapt to change is an important skill to manage, especially as a new business owner or a leader. And how you handle this can positively impact your team, family, and business.
Let's look at a few tips to manage change:
Make room for change - If you are the kind of person who likes their day planned out, their goals are written in pen, or enjoys a good process, make room in your mind that you may be required to change something in your plan. That sounds easy, but if change generally stresses you out, intentionally decide that you can be ok with unexpected changes and move on from there.
Focus on the positive - Suddenly, half of your staff have called off, or the cookie parents forgot to bring their snacks to the school event! Talk about stress and negative thoughts! Take a moment to readjust your thinking. Not enough staff? Well, you still have to conduct business. Gather everyone around, acknowledge the problem, recognize that it sucks, and decide as a team to learn what they can do together when something like this happens. Not enough snacks? Ask someone to run out or bring some parents to work out a way to spread snacks to hide the missing cookies.
This is called cognitive reframing. Changing your point of view from a negative outlook to a positive one will affect the outcome of the challenge.
Practice self-care - Some intense or profound changes can knock the wind out of you and your team. When this happens, remember to practice self-care. For you, this might mean a quiet moment outside in the fresh air, a quick glass of water, or even a day off. A massage always sounds good! This might mean showing your appreciation for their reliance, bringing in snacks, or something special as a reward for your team. Sometimes, discussing the experience and how you can learn and grow from it will be helpful.
Find your community - When the change you are considering or are experiencing feels overwhelming, look to your community. This might be a tight circle of friends, other business owners, other leaders, or a close family member. Communicating your concerns about change can start the process of dealing with it effectively.
Are you a woman of color early in your business journey and looking for a community? Consider joining the Comadre Café.
Change doesn't always have to be difficult. Change doesn't have to be negative. You have the power to make it work for you.
What are your favorite ways to handle change in life and business?
Madrina Consulting provides management consulting and coaching services to small businesses and nonprofits to help create and improve their path to success. Book a free discovery call to discuss how we might help you.