The trouble with making change is that it's hard. Sometimes it's really hard. One of the things that makes change so stressful is that it almost always requires people to learn something new. Even when the goal is of the, 'stop doing that' variety, people still have to learn how to stop! Let's face it - if you wanted to do something, and you knew how to do it - you would have done it already.
Learning Spanish has been on my bucket list for years. I took Spanish in High School and it's held a fascination for me ever since. I marvel at colleagues who can flip between languages with ease. I confess that I've always attributed superior intellect to those with the ability to shift gears in their head, speak in another tongue and never miss a beat. So, this is my year to learn!
But, as I sit in front of my newly acquired Rosetta Stoneä Language Learning System, I face the same concerns that all changers do. I chose this, and I still have angst. Being in the change biz is helping me recognize the territory I'm in right now - I've made a good first step, had some initial fun and now begins the
real work, and the second - guessing.
Is this really going to be worth all the hours?
Will I be able to master this?
What happens if I can't do it?
I know there will be other stages along the way too - when I get about halfway through, I may want to quit altogether. It's the mile in the middle that's the hardest for would-be changers.
Forewarned is forearmed - right?
You bet, and my Rosetta Stoneä System has anticipated my reaction to the murky halfway mark by hooking me up with learning buddies, on-line games and little rewards. Good for them. After walking thousands of learners down this same path, the Stoners have learned that, like my fellow changers, I'll need a leg up, some hope and a bit of fun to get me to my end goal.
Where are you and your team in the change process? Just starting? Dangerously close to the middle-mile? What are you doing to shore up the resolve and decrease the stress that your team will demonstrate - through missed deadlines, absenteeism, dips in moral and a general sense of dread - when it comes to pushing hard enough to cross the finish line with this change? And, what do you know that, if they understood, would help them come to the same conclusion you have and stay on the bus? So, let's take a page from their book, shall we? If change were easy, everyone would do it.