I experienced mixed emotions last week. I was on site in the UK all week, and at various times felt happy, sad, anxious, excited, bemused and enlightened.
We are approaching closure of the Big Deal. The Shareholder vote is Wednesday. Wednesday is when we will know for sure. Wednesday will be a moment of change. At times of change, emotions can be high and feelings strong. We can feel the need to express ourselves, but frequently we don’t know how to, where to, or who to.
I recognised my own mixed feelings this week as I spoke with various groups and individuals. I heard these mixed feelings when I met with various individuals and groups…more interest, more questions and more requests.
This is often what change is all about – strong and, at times, confusing feelings. Everything ranging from delight to gloom…from frustration to joy…from relaxed to engaged. We all handle change of course – big or small – but we all handle change in different ways. There is no right way or simple way, although there are a few watch outs.
Information is paramount. The more information we can read and hear or give and share the better. There is almost no limit to our appetite for information regarding change. Information about people, teams, timings, and colleagues. Reasons, insights, observations and conclusions. Everything helps.
I consciously try to pass on as much information as I possibly can as soon as I get it. I also read everything that is communicated, connect to every Town Hall or telecom, and watch every video. In short, my desire for information is insatiable.
Support is crucial. We all need support in change. Some more than others and some less. And it is almost impossible to predict which. I always steer clear from making assumptions about how anyone else is feeling. I try to avoid anything along the lines of “you must be feeling good” or I know you are feeling bad”. If I want to find out how someone is doing I ask them. On the other hand if they don’t want to tell me then that’s fine as well.
I look after myself by seeking out people to talk to about how I am feeling. Friends and family. People who care about me and who I trust. People I know will support me. People I know who will support me even when I don’t realise I need their help and advice!
Times when we are under stress is often when we revert to type…revert to our preferred style of operating. If we are naturally more ‘command and control’, then that is what people will see. If we are more ‘logical and analytical’ then logic and analysis it will be. When we are under pressure we have less time to consider our options in any situation and as such we tend to react more intuitively. Again this is a watch out for me – another place where my friends and family, allies and mentors can and do help me. They see me and know mem and they are willing and able to hold that mirror up to me.
We are all passionate about our work, our colleagues and our partners. We work on important and significant projects. We are all committed. We are desperate to succeed and we always want to make a difference. Our future – and that of our partners – will include even more opportunities for us to do even more amazing work. This will all come, and it will come soon enough. In the meantime we continue to work, to support and to help…our colleagues, our partners and ourselves…