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A Fresh Start, New Perspectives: Navigating Change & Embracing Opportunities

As we step into the new year, I like many people spend the first few weeks establishing what my vision for my personal and professional life will become. This often includes creating a vision board, setting intentions and creating new habits to ensure I am setting myself up for success to meet my goals.

I believe it is important for leaders to do some sort of "visioning" about what they want to achieve, who they will support and what support they require (hint: we aren't meant to know it all) as well as goals that will add to your being, and not require a ton of your time and energy.

This year, I am focusing on reducing the amount of consumption in my life. I don't mean consumption of goods, more about services of others and absorption of new information. I love learning, and one of my goals is to read a book a month so this statement even as I write it seems counterintuitive. I love to read. PERIOD. I want to read a book a month for the love of reading, not so that I can learn a ton of new information that ends up making me feel overwhelmed and results in me never putting this new information into motion.

So, her are a few of my thoughts for leaders who are seeking some direction to plan their year, reflect on the lessons learned from the past, embracing change and preparing themselves for a year of growth and expansion where you are fostering a culture where everyone can thrive.


The Transformative Power of Change

Change, though often met with resistance, is an inevitable part of growth. It can be challenging to learn how to view change not as a disruption but as a powerful force that can move an organization and it's leaders forward. It's about understanding that in every transition lies an opportunity for improvement and innovation. This is the first awakening in creating psychologically safe workplaces.


I always like to offer some strategies that are simple and sustainable and will make change feel less daunting.


1. Transparent Communication

Foster an environment of open communication. This starts with you. Practice active listening, and hold space for others so they know you are there for them, and there is nothing in it for you other than to learn more about their thoughts. Keeping individuals informed about change, why change is necessary, expected outcomes, and the benefits of change helps to reduce anxiety, and builds feelings of transparency and stability which alleviates uncertainty.


2. Inclusive Decision-Making

Involve your team in the decision-making process whenever possible. Seek their input, listen to their concerns, and consider their perspectives. This involves decision-making that goes beyond the scope of their job. It is important for people to feel that their work has purpose beyond themselves. Having an impact and knowing that their work is being valued by others, creates community and belonging. In addition, inclusion creates a sense of ownership and commitment among team members.


3. Provide Support and Resources

Acknowledge that change can be challenging for some. Not everyone will be challenged by change. Meeting people where they are at and understanding that change is often scary because there is a huge component of the unknown. We know, that when people feel scared or unsure, they often behave badly. Ensure that individuals have the necessary support and resources to adapt successfully. This may include training programs, mentorship, or additional tools to facilitate the transition. The most valuable resource you can offer is yourself. Connect in on a regular basis and ask how people are feeling, let them know that they are valued and that someone has their back.


4. Celebrate Small Wins

Recognize and celebrate achievements, no matter how small. Acknowledging progress boosts morale and reinforces the positive aspects of change. It also helps counteract any lingering resistance. We often value the big changes in our lives, and don't put enough value on the everyday successes. For parents, surviving a morning routine that involves getting children to school on time is a win, remaining emotionally regulated during a difficult conversation is no small feat and having a person to whom you have influence tells you that they really appreciated your support during a challenge is not something to acknowledge. The small wins are the catalyst to sustainable change.


5. Lead by Example

I've always said that if you want to see change, then demonstrate the change you want to see from others. We are unable to control others, as much as we try, we are only able to change how we feel and how we choose to respond to the actions of others. Demonstrate kindness (there is a difference between being nice and kind), a growth mindset, humility and the positive intention of others provides the space required for you to embody the change that will inspire confidence in their others. This mindset helps to create community and that one one rises, we all rise.


6. Embracing Transformation as a Culture

Embracing change is not a one-time event but a continuous journey. It's about cultivating a culture where adaptability is ingrained in the workplace culture established by shared values. This culture empowers individuals at all levels to embrace challenges, learn from them, support others without judgement and contribute to the collective growth. When leaders curate environments where all voices are valued and equal and where challenging the status quo is encouraged so that all aspects of change can be considered.


As we step into the new year, I hope that some of these suggestions be a guiding light for leaders navigating change. Embrace the opportunities that change brings, and remember that a culture of transformation is the foundation for long-term success.


I have found myself telling leaders, "Change is not the end but a new beginning. It's a chance to evolve, innovate, and create a workplace that not only survives change but flourishes in it."


Here's to a year of embracing change, fostering growth, and leading with unwavering confidence. May your journey through transitions be marked by resilience, collaboration, and a commitment to continuous improvement.






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