Imagine you’re in a comfortable groove playing nice in the sandbox … and then everything changes. Change is inevitable. Things are always changing and we get off balance.
In my upcoming book, Workplace Sandbox Strategies, Resolving Conflict from the Inside Out, I draw attention to the parallels of business and our youthful years in sandbox play. Do you recall the intrigue that we felt for continuously building because when we play with sand, we accept impermanence. Everything was always changing, and even today, nothing is ever set in sand.
When we’re squeezed out of our comfort zone, into the unknown, we feel fear and frustration, and we begin to pass judgement. But … what if we could decide to change those feelings into something more productive and peaceful.
Fear ⇒ Excitement
Frustration ⇒ Courage
Judgement ⇒ Curiosity
As I work with different people and organizations, I notice that some people have decided to be excited, courageous and curious about the potential that this CoVid pandemic will provide, and others have decided to be stuck in fear and frustration. Either way is not right or wrong … it just is what it is.
Each has been given the same set of circumstances, and the same options to decide from.
- If you could choose between fear and excitement, which would you choose? And why?
- If you could choose between frustration and courage, which would you rather? And why?
- If you could choose between judgement and curiosity, which would you prefer? And why?
The reason I end each of these questions with ‘why?’ is because you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. You can dig deep here and really get honest with yourself as to why your deciding to be in with or against the circumstances.
If you’re standing in excitement, courage and curiosity, congratulations. You’re very proactive and influential, and your team needs you. The greatest leaders can’t lead without the commitment of those who follow. Great decision! But it’s not easy. Your influential muscles area getting a workout and becoming stronger. The world needs more people who think like you.
If you’re standing in fear and frustration, know that you’re in charge, this is your sandbox and you get to shift the grains of sand however you decide. Either decision will cost you energy and effort, the real question becomes, what outcome do you want?
If you’re leading a change, empathize with how people are thinking and feeling about the change, and how you might change their emotional response to one of excitement, courage and curiosity. A first step would be to acknowledge what has been lost. Don’t miss this step. The greatest need of the human spirit is the need to FEEL understood, so that empathy is very critical, and very valuable.
Embrace change and if you can’t find your way call Penny Tremblay because the high cost of fear is avoidable, and profits can be used for better things.