The wheels of change go round and round

Last Wednesday I talked vaguely about some changes going on in my life. They are work related and it’s going to be fine. In fact, I really think once it’s all said and done, it’s going to be great and I’ll thrive. I’m going to be doing the same thing (probably more of it) but with a new team, new manager and new physical office location.

No matter how good it can be, change? Still sucks.

We had a communications retreat Thursday facilitated by the HR department. You know HR departments, always with the  research based justification of your feelings.

Waiting for us at our assigned seats was this chart:

stages of change change management wheel

And after sufficiently rolling my eyes, I realized all of this made sense. I went through the same kinds of things when I gave birth to my son, and that was a good change. And look how it’s turned out!

Check it:

Stage 1: You’re fearful of the change. You can’t picture yourself in this new role. You’re paralyzed. Work and life almost comes to a halt.

Stage 2: You become resentful of the change and skeptical that it’s the right thing or that it will ever become normal again. Life goes on, but hesitantly.

Stage 3:  You’re anxious of the changes happening around you and confused how you fit in or how you can deal with the change. Life is happening, but you’re not very good at it.

DANGER ZONE: You dont’ stop singing “Danger Zone”.

Stage 4: You begin to see that this change could be a good thing. They use the word “anticipation” but to me that has some negative connotations, so I would add “eager”. You start thinking creatively and seeing yourself in the new role.

Stage 5: You start feeling more confident and productive.

Stage 5.5: You’re probably alseep by now because this post has bored you to tears (or you’re still singing Danger Zone in your head.)

Stage 6: You have integrated into your new change and you’re focused. You’ve come to terms with this change; you’re at peace.

Who among us Mamas hasn’t been paralyzed with fear holding our newborn? Skeptical that it’ll ever get better? Eager to learn and grow with your baby? Filled with joy and contentment as you roll around on the floor tickling a laughing baby?

It’s normal. It’s natural. It will pass.

If you see a yellow light, do you slow down or do you speed up? It’s the same way with stages of change. We all move through the stages of change at different speeds. Sometimes you fly through, sometimes you linger. Neither is right, neither is wrong.

Do you know how comforting this was to me? There on paper in red, yellow and green was confirmation that I wasn’t ungrateful, unkind or beyond hope. I embraced my place in stage 1 and knew that I’d eventually move on. It might take time, but I’d get there.

The HR rep gave us a quote I’ve heard a thousand times: “You can’t choose what happens, but you can choose how you react to it,” and it’s never made more sense to me. Yes, yes indeed. I have a job. I have a job I love, doing what I love. I will still work in close proximity to the people I work with now, and in a similar capacity. Really, not much is change except for my desk and manager.

We decided, collectively, to laugh so we won’t cry by doing some arts and crafts Tuesday afternoon. We cut out representations of ourselves and placed them where we are currently on the stages of change wheel. When we move forward, we change our mini-mes. If we move back, we move our little people back.

Here is mine:

change wheel with my face drinking wine

 Cut from this picture of me holding the bottle of wine my fabulous cube neighbor bought for me for my weekend wine drinking.

me holding a bottle of wine

I think I’ll be ok.

Have you experience the stages of change? When was the last time you had a good ol’ fashioned HR course?

iPhone Photo Phun

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