Why you need to get used to change (and how to change in the right direction)

Have you ever said to a child “wow, you’ve grown!” Even if it was only a week since your last visit, the first thing you probably notice is how much they’ve changed, whether it’s just a slight difference in their facial features, or a new skill they’ve picked up.

And the reality is, rapid change isn’t something that just happens with kids
. All of us are constantly changing, it’s just not always as obvious with grown ups. Changes with adults take longer to register.

Like with one of my executive coaching clients who I was working with recently. He’s a leader who has consciously work to improve his positive leadership style. He was putting in substantial time and effort, but he felt that his team didn’t seem to notice the changes, and he started to get a bit disheartened.

The problem with change is there is often a lag between when you make the change, and when others see it. It’s like if you lose weight or start a fitness program. While you may see or feel results almost immediately, it usually takes weeks or months until other people notice anything at all.

And this is the same when you’re making changes to your leadership style. While we are on high alert for changes in little kids, we’re not on the same lookout when it comes to adults. Our brains don’t seem to calibrate in the same way. People often form an initial opinion about someone, and then stick to that, even if it’s based on an opinion formed 10 years ago. It’s usually not until something drastically changes that people will start to see others in a different light.

When you’re the one putting in the work to grow and evolve, this can be quite disheartening or a little bit frustrating because people around you treat you as if you were the same person you were last year or last decade. And this can be particularly tough if you’re going through executive coaching or personal development and changing at a faster rate than usual.

So when you’re putting in the work to change as a leader, how can you help others recognise you’re evolving?

One way is to be open about it by telling others about the work you’re doing and the changes you’re making, as well as why you’re doing it. By doing this, you can not only get feedback from your team about how your changes are going, but others may even learn something that sparks their interest that they can go and apply themselves too.

The reality is, we all need to get used to change. Because of the speed at which technology and the modern world moves, the rate of change we’re experiencing at the moment is likely going to be the slowest rate of change we experience for the rest of our lives. This has profound implications for the future of work, and the future of learning, and we will all need to unlearn, relearn, and adapt for the rest of our lives.

So it’s prime time to buckle in and get comfortable with change and growth. Staying still is no longer just staying still—it could actually mean falling further behind, so never stop expanding your horizons, and make sure you help others and encourage growth by staying conscious of change around you and acknowledging it.

If you feel you haven’t grown at the rate you’d like or you’re falling behind in your personal development, talk to me about my executive coaching or team development programs.

Tagged: positive psychologypositive leadershipleadershiptransformational coachingtransformational leadershipmindful leadercoachingcoaching questionsInternational Coach Federation

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