Dealing with Change

I really struggled writing this post. I’m not sure why?  Perhaps because normally during the writing process I’ll do a lot of research?

This post I just wanted to provide a couple of tips that have helped me over the year when implementing change.

Each helped in different ways including:

  • Handle my emotions better when a student expresses their frustrations at changes after spending hours planning sessions.
  • Accept that when delivering professional development that constraints that I have no control will impact — and change takes time.

And if the tips don’t help — I’ve gone with Plan B!

A couple of funny videos (maybe I should have gone with cat videos?).

Response To Change

We each respond differently to change!

While we can’t control how others will respond to being asked to change we can control how we react to their responses.

Whenever we ask someone to do something differently we are asking them to change, to let go of the familiar, to trust you in where you are taking them and what you are doing. The people you are asking to change are used to doing it one way, now you are saying lets try it another way!

GUESS WHAT?

Not everyone wants to change! Familiar is known, comfortable and secure.

Change is uncharted water; many people’s natural and rational response is resistance. Emotionally change can simultaneously bring joy and sorrow, gain and loss, satisfaction and disappointment.

There will always be a small number of people whose automatic response to any form of change will be to complain.

Understanding the impact change can have on others helped me:

  1. Accept that there will always be some that will complain or get upset.
  2. Taught me not to take it personally.
  3. Helped me handle my emotions better.
  4. Manage resistance better.
  5. Appreciate the need to discuss their feelings.

Time Taken To Effect Change

Implementing change takes time; change is not something that happens overnight.

For example, implementing a small change within an organisation can take 3-5 years compared to a large change that can take 5 – 10 year.

Often when we implement change we don’t allow adequate time for the change to occur.  Our focus should be on long term strategies.

What Else?

This post is part of the ongoing #EdublogsClub series. This week’s writing prompt was to write a post that discusses leadership, peer coaching, and/or effecting change

My other tips?  Research information on change management.  It helped me even if I couldn’t express my ideas well.

Feel free to leave your own tips (or links to funnier videos).

4 thoughts on “Dealing with Change

  1. Sue,
    Thank you for talking about how many YEARS change can take. Sometimes districts forget this and try to rush initiatives without building the strong foundation. Then the initiatives don’t work, and another “new” initiative comes along to try to succeed where the last one failed. It becomes a cycle and teachers become cynical. Giving enough time could be the answer!!

    Susan Vincent Reply

    1. Hi Susan, Part of my work role used to be delivering professional development. I loved the work but felt frustrated that what I was doing wasn’t necessarily making the difference as I wished. It was only when someone who specialized in Change management explained the process of change that I realized the issue wasn’t in what I was doing but the constraints within which I was being forced to delivered the training.

      I had no ability to change those constraints which is why I changed my focus to where I could effect the most change and visibly see the most impact of what I was trying to achieve — which was by sharing, supporting and helping others online.

      Sue Waters Reply

  2. Sue that help desk video is priceless. Such a great reminder of how when implementing change we sometimes fail to see and understand how difficult it can seem when it seems logical and easy to the change maker.

    Pauline Wilson Reply

  3. Hi Sue,

    I think one of my frustrations is when people expect change to be immediate. Sometimes I fall into that trap as well. This is a very important reminder. I wonder how we can help stay the challenging course of change when it can take that long for workflow and impact to be clear.

    The nail video reminded me about Tara Brach’s statement about “real but not true” when referring to how we have to listen and respond to people’s feelings and feedback.

    Damianne President Reply

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