Dynamics of Change Management

Posted Jun 8, 2020

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Summary

Learn ways to cope better with changes related to COVID-19. 


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Hi, everybody. Welcome. Thank you so much for joining us today for Dynamics of Change Management. My name is Chris Wall Chuck, I'm so glad to be here with you today. Boy oh boy, have we been through some changes in the last couple of months, huh? Unbelievable, none of us could have ever imagined that we would have had so many changes happen in our work life, in our home lives, in all of it. So, that's why we're here to talk about this to see how we manage change and what can we do to make it better. So before we get started, just want to do a little bit of housekeeping. So we want to hear from you throughout the session today. And the way that we're going to be doing that is via the chat box. So if you look at your drop down menu, you should see a little bubble, it says chat if you open that up. I know many of you responded to us a little bit ago when Dave was doing some checks.

So I just want to make sure that everybody can see the chat. And if so, just give me a yes in the chat box, so I know that you have found it. We have a lot of people joining us today. So I just want to make sure that we're able to communicate. Okay, wonderful. It's scrolling like crazy. Thank you so much for responding to that. Perfect. All right. So please, let's talk throughout this session. I'm going to throw out lots of questions to you, I want to hear from you. If you have any questions or comments while we're going through it, please put them in as they apply, don't feel like you need to wait till the end. I will leave a couple of minutes at the very end if there's any additional questions, but hopefully we will cover everything as we're going through. We're also recording this session, so we'll have that available to you in the next few days and this way you can share that with family members, with colleagues who couldn't join us. Hopefully everybody can gain a little bit more something from this.

All right, so here's what we're going to be talking about. We're going to talk about past challenges and past experiences, because we know that the past can really help us with the future. And so when we start looking at how we handle situations in the past, it really does help us learn something about what worked for us and what didn't. We're going to talk about countering helplessness, because let's face it, sometimes when we're facing changes, it's easy to feel really helpless. Many of us like to have some semblance of order in our lives, some control over our lives. And when we feel that we don't have that, oftentimes, it's that all or nothing mentality, I either have it or I don't have it. We don't feel like there's anything in between. And so we need to recognize that there's a whole lot in between. And so it may not be one extreme or the other, but I can control certain And things within my environment. And we're going to do a couple of things during the session to show you that. We're going to be talking about phases that people typically go through during change.

And I think that that's important to recognize because oftentimes, you're feeling certain things and you say, "Is it just me? Is this normal?" And yes, it is. And we're going to talk about what are those typical situations, those typical phases that people go through. We'll talk about a couple of myths, we're going to talk about resiliency and how important resiliency is in order for us to be able to manage ourselves better. And then taking care of ourselves. And basically, what do we do to self-care during times of change? I have a couple of people who are saying that they are not hearing, Dave, I don't know if you can help on the back end with those couple of folks, they put it in the chat. I'm assuming other people can hear me since a lot of people answered me when I asked about locating your chat box. So maybe we can just help those two people. Okay, excellent. Thank you.

All right. So as I said, we'll go to past experiences. But before we do, I want to just ask you a couple of questions because I want to figure out where we all are in terms of change. So, on a scale of one to 10, one being I hate change. I hate everything about change. The slightest little change throws me off. A 10 is, I love change. I live for change. Bring it on. There's everybody in between, one to 10, where would you put yourself? So, one 10 so far, seeing lots of in the middle, four through eight. Yep, we are all over the board here. Oh, somebody said 10 if it makes sense to change. We'll talk a little bit about that in just a couple of minutes. All right, literally all over the board. I think the lowest I saw were threes and we went right up to 10s. Okay. Which is what we would expect. The vast majority were in the middle. So typical bell curve, we got a few people on one end, a few people on the other end, and the vast majority between that four and eight.

And the only reason I asked you this is I want you to recognize that if you're somebody who gave yourself one of those high numbers, eight, nine, 10, you take change in stride. Change is inevitable, change is usually good. And so you just go with the flow when you do what you need. Some of you that gave yourself the lower numbers, you know who you are and you know that you probably struggle with change, but the bottom line is, change is inevitable, change's necessary and we can not only see survive change, but we can thrive in change situations. And so a couple of you made comments about... You gave yourself a number and then you said it depends on what the change is, if it's a good change. And of course, that determines how we view it. But think of it this way, sometimes we don't know if a change is going to be good or bad. We may have our perception of a change, maybe my organization has decided we're going to go to a new system of doing something, which means we all have to relearn how to do something.

Well, that doesn't sound like fun to me, because I like my comfort zone. I've been doing things a certain way, it's easy, I don't have to think about it and now you're telling me I have to do something different. But then all of a sudden, you do it and you say, "Oh, this is better than the other way. This is great. Why weren't we doing it this way all along?" So sometimes change is like a present that you don't know what's in it until it's unwrapped. And again, sometimes it's bad changes. Let's face it, people are going through all kinds of bad changes right now, especially as a result of this pandemic. But also, we need to recognize that, with everything there're some learnings. And something hopefully happens as a result of this. I've been doing a lot of seminars that are COVID-19 related in one way or another, whether it's change management, whether it's fear and anxiety, whether it's how to work remotely. So I've talked to lots of people in the last couple of months.

And one of the things that I'm always finding interesting is that as much as some of us are obviously concerned about what's going on, because it's a bad thing, lots of little good things are coming out of it. People's relationships are changing in better ways, people are building skills. So, all of these things that can really make a difference. And so we need to take it in stride like that. I want to do a really quick exercise with you. I want you to grab a piece of paper and a pen or a pencil. And I want you to sign your name. Just like you're signing a document. I used to say a check, but no one signs checks anymore, but just sign it. Oh, and somebody else that said find value in change with growth mindset. Yes, we'll talk a little bit about that later. How having a growth mindset can really help us to move forward. All right, how did it feel to sign your name? Give me some words in the chat. What was that experience like? Smooth, easy, okay, normal, natural, good, ownership feeling, in control, automatic, assertive, routine.

Yeah, absolutely. We've done it a million times before. Powerful, somebody said,. "It felt like mine." Yeah, right? It's my signature. Good. Now put your pen or pencil on your opposite hand and do the same thing again. Sign your name. How did that feel? Disaster, ugh, awkward, intimidating. Lots of awkward. Messy, forced, okay, out of the box, lack of control, disabled, uncomfortable, impossible, difficult, silly, handicapped, slow, so wrong, no control, no neatness, not perfect or familiar, weird. Yeah. I asked you to make a simple change to just sign your name with your opposite hand, but look at the difference in the words you used to describe doing it the first time versus the second time. Somebody else just said scrambled.

Yep. Yeah, so now think about when we're really going through a serious change, a big change, a life changing situation. It can really throw us for a loop. So we really just need to recognize that change, even for a nine or a 10 can still feel awkward and still feel uncomfortable, but it's what we do with it that can really, really help us. So, let's talk a little bit about questions that we can ask ourselves that can help us to figure that one out. So one is, I need to define the change. I need to understand what this change is all about, how extensive it is, how much it affects me, what areas of my life it's going to affect, I need to know why is the change required. How many of you find if you Know what the why behind doing something, it's easier for you to make a change? Just give me a yes in the chat box if you feel that way. When you know why your boss decides, "We're going to change something entirely..." Good, tones of people are saying yes, absolutely, 100%, yep.

Yeah. Because when I understand it, I may not agree with it still, but I get it and I can understand why we're doing this. But if I don't even understand why we're doing it, what I tend to do is spend all of my time questioning, "Why are we doing this? We don't need to do this." And that affects our attitudes in a negative way. I need to assess the impact. Who will the change affect? How will it change the way we do things? How will it affect people's routines? Is it worth that kind of change? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. My backgrounds in human resources and I spent a lot of years as an HR manager and then in this capacity working with a lot of different organizations And one of the things that I found is that, when people get that, "This is why we're doing it and this is how it's going to help," they can go along for the ride. But if they don't and they don't feel it's going to help them, they go kicking and screaming.

And those negative attitudes can also be very, very contagious because if you're not happy about something, guess what? You share it with anybody who's going to listen. And so all of a sudden, I might be okay with the change, but you're not. And all I keep hearing from you and you sit next to me by the way, all I'm hearing is, "This is horrible, this is terrible, why are they doing this? It's unnecessary." And after a while, you're beating me down with that. So how we communicate, what we're talking about, how we communicate our feelings, how will the feedback that we get from other people be managed is another important question for us to be thinking about. Training. Am I trained to do this? Do I know how to do this? Do I have the skill to do this? If I do, great. If not, are you going to give it to me? Are you going to get me what I need in order to be successful? Because obviously, when change happens, our whole goal is that there's going to be that success.

Now naturally, we're going to fall down sometimes, it's brand new, mistakes are going to happen. But we need to be taught how to do something. So we need to unpack the question that needs to be asked. If I'm a leader and I'm making the changes, I need to make sure that I'm giving that training to whoever it is I'm asking to change. But if I'm on the receiving end of the change and I don't feel comfortable with it, I need to ask that question. How will you help me get up to speed? How am I going to be trained to do this? How about support? We need a support structure. Who do I go to? Who can I turn to as the help when I need that? So identifying that again, helps to alleviate people's need for that anxiety that goes with change. And obviously the change process itself. Will the change assist in achieving our goals or what could be done differently? And so, past experiences really are a good way for us to recognize how we can look at things.

So I want you to think about past experiences that you've been through. Pick one, maybe a really tough one, maybe it was in your personal life, a divorce, loss of a loved one, an illness, maybe it was an organizational change, your position changed completely, goals changed completely. Maybe the organization itself changed completely. And I want you to think about what worked for you in terms of getting through that change? And I'd love for you to share those in the chat with me right now. What did you do that helped you manage that change a little better. You don't have to share the change with us if you don't want to, but simply give us what did you do? Okay, somebody said, "Pray, requested help from others, giving permission to change and be happy, talked with everybody I thought was involved." Good. Because information is power. So the more I know the better. Or prayer, somebody moved as a result and sometimes that's what it takes, right? Major life changes to deal with something. Oops, it's rolling fast, let me go back here.

Flexibility, positive perspective, growth mindset, finding the value of this change. A lot of people are talking to other people. So getting information, reading instructions, somebody said, "Taking care of myself, taking it one day at a time." Absolutely. See, what else do we have? I don't want to keep repeating similar things. Research, believed in the process and the process being followed. Do what I love, acceptance and lots of prayer again. Talk through it and processed related emotions. That's excellent. And so you can talk through it with somebody else, a friend, a family member, a professional or just with yourself if you feel like you can accomplish that. But definitely talking it through makes a really big difference, hearing it out loud. Somebody else said working through for better understanding. Going through the steps to come to acceptance as quickly as possible like phases of grief. Oh, interesting, you should say that because that's going to be the next thing we're going to be talking about, is understanding those phases.

Somebody said, "I cried every day for four years and gave myself time to adjust." Yeah. Look, if these are serious issues and I told you to pick a serious one, not just a silly little thing, a little change that happened but things that may have been life changing. And emotions are very real, things like crying, things like praying, things that are going to help me, but many of you kept going back to talking to other people gaining information. Somebody else said, "Allow myself time to mourn and then find the best part of myself quickly." Excellent. Excellent. Wonderful, thank you for those. So those are great learning. Somebody else said, "Meditate." They keep coming. "And reflected and learn to value my past efforts and failures." What you all just described there, are best practices in dealing with change. Some of them are your own, some of them are your co-workers, your fellow participants in this webinar.

And so think about some of the things that other people had suggested as you go Through future changes, especially the ones we're going through right now with COVID-19, what are ones that might help you? And just think about how you can apply those. Somebody else just said, "Quietness, spending time in nature?" Yeah, sometimes when change is happening, it's the one time where we do become a little bit more introspective because... Let's think of the pandemic. I think this is such a great example of this. Up until 10, 11, 12 weeks ago, life was busy, right? You were probably just going through the motions, getting things done, you were busy, your kids were busy, everybody's over scheduled, you probably said you're stressed out and burnt out millions of times. And then everything came to a screeching halt. And all of a sudden, a lot of us started saying, "Oh my goodness, I don't know if I can work from home. How am I going to do this?"

And others of you had said, "How am I going to take care of my child full time And work from home." And others of you may have said, "How am I going to be a teacher to my child because this kid's not going to learn online? How am I going to manage all these roles?" And then you did. You've been doing it. However it's being done, you're doing it. And so, first we question those kinds of things and then we get out of that mode and we start realizing, "This is my reality and I better figure out how to do this." And all of these best practices that you mentioned, really speak to that. How about? Now go back to situations in the past, maybe even the same one. What didn't work for you? What did you do that you said, "Oh, boy, that backfired, I'm not going to do that again. Give us some of those because those are some of the learnings. And somebody prior to that said, "Taking time to understand my focus is better served to provide support to others to understand the support I need." Okay, excellent.

All right. So things we're not going to do, take it all on myself, resisting, dwelling on the negative, staying angry, spreading negativity, eating, trying to control what had I have no control over, not involving others, dwelling too much in the past, staying still doing nothing, getting stuck in my own head, denial, only consider my perspective and not understand the perspective of others in the situation, keeping everything inside and not talking to others. Yeah. So, some of the opposites of what those best practices were right, or some of the learnings that people had, where they got stuck and they couldn't move themselves forward. And obviously, that's where we need to turn to other people and ask for that help.

Somebody else said, "Procrastination." Yeah, that's a common one, right? Because it's just easier not to do anything than to do something. And you know why? Because there's fear. Whenever there's change, there's fear. There's a fear of failure, there's a fear of the unknown, there's even fear of success sometimes. And so we paralyze ourselves, we become those helpless victims by lacking the information, by lacking the reaching out to other people. And so we stay in a certain stage or we can't get past what we need to in order to move on. Somebody else said, "Waiting for perfection." So yes, coming from a perfectionist, I assume. And those of you who are perfectionist, you know exactly what that person's talking about. You're waiting for the perfect circumstance, the perfect situation because you need the perfect result. And we all know that perfection does not exist. In fact, there's a great saying, supposedly Einstein said this, "Strive for excellence, perfection is an illusion." I love that because I'm not a perfectionist, but I've worked with a lot of perfectionist over the years and I see what they do to themselves.

Even though they're getting great responses from people, they're getting great results, they get themselves stuck because it's never good enough for them. They're trying to reach something that is unreachable. And unfortunately, they do it to themselves in many situations, not just some situations, which you can see... Always trying to be perfect. And so again, in this pandemic, we started realizing that you know what? You can't be the perfect parent, you can't be the perfect employee, you can't be the perfect homeschool teacher, you can't be the perfect son or daughter to that elderly parents that you haven't seen in months. You can't be that perfect sibling, the perfect friend, you just can't, because there's not enough of us to go around to be able to do that. But what we do is the best that we can and we slowly work through a situation and hopefully taking those baby steps forward that are going to keep us moving. How about role models? How many of you've got any role models when it comes to change?

Maybe somebody that you know, or somebody that you don't know personally, but maybe you've read about, a historical figure, somebody who has managed and handled change extremely well. Role models are excellent, because they really help us to realize we're not alone when we're going through changes, but it helps us if we can have the benefit of either talking to them, if they're a real person we know and they're alive. Or if they're somebody from history and they've written about this, how did they do it? What were their secrets to dealing with change? And so, there's so many things that we've got just within ourselves that manage change, but sometimes we got to dig deep in. All right. Let's now move on and talk about our reactions to change. And so basically, what if you had mentioned those stages of grieving? So if you've ever gone through a loss, you may have even read some things Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, is probably most famous for this grief cycle, which includes denial, resistance, exploration and commitment.

So let's look at each one of these stages and see how it goes. And I want you to use the pandemic, what we're going through right now and see where you are as far as this whole thing is concerned. Okay? So first, let's start by saying that any change means that there has been a loss. Would you agree with that? Yes or no? Every change means there has been some sort of a loss. Okay, I'm seeing lots of yeses, I'm seeing a couple of noes. Okay. Well, think about it. A change means something new, which oftentimes, most of the time replaces something that existed before. Even in good situations, if you ever got married or moved in with somebody or started a new relationship with somebody, it's wonderful, right? It's welcome, it's something you're looking forward to, but there's a loss of your independence. You might be okay with that right now, but there's still a loss. Anyone who has children? When you had your first child, happy, happy, right? Wonderful experience. Did your life change at all? Oh, yeah.

There was a lot of losses, a loss of your freedom. Somebody just said, "My freedom." Loss of independence. Of course. But of course, when you weigh it out, you say "It's all worth it, because it's my kid and I love them." But let's be honest, it was a change. I remember when my first daughter was almost born and everybody's saying, "This is going to completely change your life." And I thought to myself, "No, it's not. We've had a dog for eight years, we always have to come home to walk the dog and let the dog out, we treat her like a baby. No, it's not going to change that much." Boy, was I wrong? Right? It's different. And so we need to recognize that even in good changes, it starts with some sort of a loss. And the loss is usually what we're used to, what we're comfortable with. There's an old saying that said, "There's no comfort in the growth zone and there's no growth in the comfort zone." Think about that. No growth in the comfort zone, no comfort in the growth zone.

I can't even remember, it's such an old... I haven't thought about the saying in a long time. But I don't know which order it goes in, the real saying, but it's true. If we stay in our comfort zone, there is no growth, but when we grow, there's discomfort, at least initially. And that's okay. We just have to keep moving. Right? We just have to keep moving forward. So let's look at each of these things. Oh, somebody wrote, "In the comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there." Yes, that's another good saying. Absolutely. Comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. Same old, same old, same old. And so, if we want to develop, to evolve, to get better at something, to move our organizations forward, to move our lives forward, we sometimes have to go into that discomfort.

So when something happens, usually the first stage we're in is denial. What? Are you kidding me? How can this be happening? I don't understand. So there's uncertainty, there's skepticism, there's suspicion, there might be some angry feelings like, why are you doing this? Why is this... Right? But it's mostly, "I can't get my head around this." And this is just a coping mechanism that we deal with, especially if it's a negative or we perceive it to be a negative change to keep us safe. If I pretend it's not happening and I close my eyes, maybe it's not going to happen. Well, guess what? We could only stay there for a little period of time, hopefully enough time to get ourselves through that because we eventually get to the next stage, which is resistance. This is when reality hits and we start recognizing whatever this thing is. A loss of a loved one, a diagnosis of an illness, this pandemic that has changed all of our lives in so many ways. It's real. And so how do you feel about that?

Well, you messed up my bubble. Everything thing was really nice in the little bubble I lived in. Remember that comfort zone? And now it's all messed up. Clearly I'm not going to be singing and dancing, I'm angry, I'm upset, I'm sad, I feel helpless. Those are all normal and natural feelings in this feeling stage, this is the most feeling stage of those four phases that we go through. And this is where it really hits home. This is the real deal. So if I want to help my team move forward, if I'm a manager or a supervisor or just a team member, we need to always recognize that everybody's perception is different. But I asked you on a scale of one to 10, where you would change, we literally were all over the board in this group of people. We had everybody, I think three was the lowest we had, maybe there was a two and we went right up to 10. So everybody is different. We need information. To get past resistance, we need to understand the why. What's going on.

So again, if I'm a manager or a supervisor leading a change, I want to be as transparent as I possibly can, I want to give as much information as I possibly can. If I'm on the receiving end of a change, I need to seek out information. Don't just wait for it, ask questions, get to know everything that you know, because when I get facts, it usually helps me deal with these feelings that I'm feeling. But when I don't have the facts, I'm letting my mind go wild. And I'm going probably to the most negative place that I can be. And of course, turn to your support system. Talk to people about how you're feeling. I hate to say misery loves company, but when lots of changes are going on, misery loves company. How many of you have spent a lot of time in the last 10 weeks talking about friends, family members, co-workers about COVID-19? Give me a yes or no in the chat box. Somebody said, "In each person's perception is their reality." Yes. All right.

So the question I just asked, mostly yeses. I have a few noes I have a few ah. A lot of yeses. Somebody said, "Yes, too much." Yeah. It seems to be just, how are you doing today? Oh, boy. And we go off and we start talking about what's happening. And so once again, we need information, but we don't want information overload especially when it comes to the media. I will admit, I am somewhat of a news junkie. The first couple of weeks that this was going on, I literally had my phone on my desk and anytime I wasn't on a webinar, I had the news on. Some channel of the news and just watching and listening what's going on, what's going on. And honestly, it was making me really anxious because it was almost information overload. Because you're hearing so many things you don't know what to believe, you don't know what's true, what's not, it's too much. But you need a certain amount of information in order to figure out your action plan. How am I going to deal with this? How can I make this better? What do I need to do?

And so we all have to figure it out for ourselves. What's the right amount? But know that this is very real. And here's the danger with this stage. Sometimes people get stuck in it, because it's easy. It's easy to get stuck in, "Poor me. Why is this happening to me?" That we don't even push forward to try to do something. And then the other thing that happens is that we don't help ourselves, we get stuck in that stage. And that attitude comes out and what we sometimes do is we act out in ways that are really not helpful. I told you my background's in HR. The organization that I spent about 11 and a half years in as an HR manager, was going through constant, constant change. I'm not kidding when I tell you constant change. We were buying up companies, we were selling companies, we were opening facilities, we were closing facilities, we were moving facilities, we were doing all kinds of things, constantly changing.

Ultimately, all of those changes were the right thing to do. But during that time, I will tell you, some of them were painful for some people more than others. And as somebody who was an HR person during that time, not only an employee dealing with my own feelings of these changes, but having to go and support other people through those changes, it was hard. But once again, you start recognizing that some people will just keep moving forward and some won't. And I saw people do things that they shouldn't have done, act out in ways that really weren't helpful to them. And you know that that's just reactions to what they're feeling. There's a difference between reacting to situations and responding to situations. Reactions are just knee jerk kinds of things that happen. It's raw emotions, that's what this resistance stage is all about. But responding means I also let the rational part of my brain kick in and I put forth an action plan.

So eventually, we get past the stage and we move on to exploration. Exploration is when we start turning the corner. We start recognizing, "All right, it is what it is. I can either join them or I can sit here and keep fighting but it's probably not going to get me anywhere." And eventually if we give in to that, we start realizing, "You know what? Okay, maybe this isn't so bad. Maybe this actually could turn into something okay." Which gives us a sense of autonomy. It really makes us feel more in control of a situation. This is where we really start asking more questions, but helpful questions. And we just learn as much as we can. So let's say it's an organizational change that we're going through, we find out, "What will I be doing? What do I need to be doing? What do I need to learn? What training do I need?" Right back to that question that we saw on that original list. In a pandemic, questions that you might be asking yourself is, "How do I keep myself safe? How do I keep my family safe?"

So I need enough information like listening to the CDC and things like that and I start doing those things. It gives me a sense of power, it gives me a sense of moving forward. And that's really what I'm after, because that's what gets me to that final stage of commitment. That's when my behaviors and what I'm doing align with the change. I set goals, I start looking forward, I become an innovator and that's really when a lot of people have that aha moment and say, "Wow, maybe that change wasn't so bad after all. Or if it was, what did I learn from it?" Like the exercise I had you all do, because there are those learnings. Just like Elisabeth Kübler-Ross said, these are typical stages that people go through, that's not to say everybody goes through each of those stages. There's no assigned time to those stages. It depends on you as an individual, it depends on what the change is. If it's a small change, you might run through these really quickly, if it's a huge life changing thing, it could be years that you're going through.

You can get stuck at one stage and stay there longer than the others or you can move through some stages and then take a step back. It's all okay. This is normal and typical of what happens with change. But I need to know myself and I need to recognize that if I'm struggling with it, if I'm really, really kicking and screaming through every change that's going on, maybe I do need to do something, get some help through friends, professional help, whatever. Explore more, get more information to be able to make those changes. So the myths are, it takes a year to go through these stages. And that came out of the grieving process with advice to sort of get over it. Well, not really, it depends on the person. It depends on the situation. All stages are the same. No they're not. You saw very clearly that that's not true. And all people deal with each cycle the same. Absolutely not. So look around at your friends, at your family members, at your co-workers.

Let's go back to this pandemic because again, this is a big change that we're all going through right now. Do you see how people are experiencing it differently? Do you see how maybe even in your own household, people are experiencing it differently within your own extended family, your co-workers? So we know. I got to worry about me, I've got to figure out how to go through changes myself. And so recognize that a lot of it has to do with our attitudes. During that commitment stage... Well, actually through all of those stages, I constantly choose my attitude, I can choose to be more positive, I can choose to be negative, I can choose to be neutral, sitting in the middle, on the line, not quite sure which way I want to go. But what I want to do is when possible take high route, try to look at something as positively as I possibly can. How can you tell if you are being more positive or negative? One way is to listen to yourself talk. How many of you talk to yourself? If you do, just give me a yes in the chat.

A lot of people saying yes, a few people say all the time. Do you listen to yourself? Do you hear yourself? Somebody said, "Some of my best conversations." I say that all the time. I have some of the best ones with myself. Somebody said, "Well, I talk to my dog." Excellent. Listen, we all talk to ourselves. Some of us it's not as clear, we're not really listening to it, it's not that obvious, with others of us it's very obvious and some of us even do it out loud. I do that at home a lot because I'm here by myself alone a lot of the time other than now during this pandemic, where my entire family is here, but usually I work from home. And when I'm doing these, I'm here by myself. And I do talk... I do have a dog, so I can't say that I talked to the dog. But I talk to myself out loud sometimes. My one teenager and my 22 year old have told me that that is not at all cool, especially if I do that outside at all. But listen to yourself. That's the point.

Listen to the kinds of words you use, listen to your reactions to what's going on. Do you have a tendency to go to that negative side all the time? Do you have a tendency to go to that positive side all the time? Or do you go back and forth? For a lot of us, it's a little of both. When something good is going on? We go, "Yes. Oh, excellent. I knew that was going to happen. This is great." And if something bad's going on, we say, "Ugh not again. Oh my gosh, I can't believe this. How am I going to get this done?" And so, anytime you listen to the bad, you got to ask yourself, is it really as bad as you're making it out? Really pay attention to the words you use, the vocabulary that you use, the tone that you use. And not just with your self-talk, but how you're talking with and to other people. Your co-workers, your family members, your friends.

Because if it is that negative, chances are what's happening is you are keeping yourself stuck in that place that doesn't allow you to move through those stages when change is happening. We want to be able to free ourselves of that and be able to move to that positive, to that more encouraging. But at the very least get to neutral. "All right, let me wait and see. Maybe this will be good." But with that, we said already, you got to be a little introspective, you got to see now how you're feeling, what's going on, what's causing you to feel a particular way. And so, that's how we can figure out our next steps. But truly, when it comes down to any kind of change, we actually are much more powerful than we sometimes think we are. But we got to break it down. And so somebody just said, "Control versus no control makes a big difference." Yeah. Well, let's do a really quick little exercise to illustrate that. Pandemic, COVID-19.

I don't think there's any of us that would say, we have control over this, we can control this whole pandemic, right? Not our government, not anybody. This is a global pandemic that's happening. Not the scientists. Everybody's doing what they can do in their expertise and their arena to help. But the bottom line is you don't have control over the whole thing. Ah, but somebody just said, "I have control over me." Good. So what are you doing to take control of your current situation so that you feel even in the midst of all of these changes, "I am in control." Tell me what you're doing. Okay, somebody said, "Washing my hands." You listen to any of the CDC information. Somebody else said "Wearing a mask." Yes, having those face covers, staying home, minimizing contact with others. Staying home when not necessary to go out, use a mask went outside and exposed to people. "Not watching too much news." Excellent, which we've talked about. Okay.

A lot of people wearing the masks. "Say what I'll do, do what I say. Make a schedule and stick to it." Excellent. And that's a really important one. Because remember what we said before, how we like our routines. And though our routine that we knew before is no more, probably in the 10, 12 weeks that we're at this already, you have created a new routine, a new schedule and you've been adapting to that. What else? People said, projects. Working on projects, reading, following safety protocols, staying positive. Taking a break from social media. Good idea. It really is a good idea because again, it's just getting too difficult. Especially one of you had mentioned earlier. I noticed one of the comments went by about what's happened with the police situation where that poor gentleman was killed and now we've got the protests and the riots and everything that's happening there. And so once again, if we're bombarding ourselves with news and social media, we're probably getting pretty overwhelmed with that.

So taking yourself out of there or minimizing it, great idea. Somebody else said, "Looking for ways to be creative and deliberate. Thinking about others more than myself." That's a really, really good thing. Just in general, I just did a session on happiness. And one of the things that we know for a fact from the research, is that what people are happier when they're doing things for other people, even more so than for themselves. And especially in a situation like this, a big change that's happening, when we're doing something to contribute well being, welfare of somebody else, just doing little things for somebody. Making a meal for that neighbor or helping your child learn a lesson that they didn't quite learn very well online, those are all things that again, help us feel stronger, help us feel more in control, which in turn help us manage the change a little bit better.

Somebody else said, "Walking with friends once a week, we social distance and use masks." Excellent. So yeah, that's one of the things that's really important with the social distancing, the fear is social isolation, is that when people are not going out, they're not seeing anybody, they're actually isolating themselves. And so if you can safely do that, go for walks... I do that all the time with several of my neighbors, we walk our dogs together, but we keep our distance, wear the masks, the whole thing. But it really does make a difference in terms of again, that connectedness with other people. If you can't do that safely, again, that's where we have so much technology that could help us to do that.

Get on a Zoom meeting with somebody, do FaceTime with somebody. All of these things. Skype with somebody so that you can connect with other people, family, friends, co-workers, anybody. Somebody else said, "Make a to do list for the day." Yes, because once again, the more organized I am, the more in control I feel, the easier it is to manage through a change. Just a little tip for those of you who are doing the whole duty thing, you've got kids, school aged kids, so you're playing full time parent, full time, teacher, full time employee and all of those things. One of the best things that you can do is first thing in the morning, look at your own schedule. You look at your calendar. What do you have? You have meetings at certain times, you have to be on calls at certain times. Okay. Create that schedule.

Now, when your kids get up, your significant other, everybody else, now we coordinate those schedules, we look at how we can manage all of those together, so that I can step away when I have to get on that call. Whoever else can do their thing... Who can do their thing independently at a certain time. And for some of you, if the spaces that you're in are small, I know I've done a lot of sessions having to do with COVID-19 for a lot of people in New York City. I'm in New Jersey. So, New York is just across the river. I do a lot of work for New York clients. And so many of our folks that we're talking to live in pretty small apartments in New York. And so they're saying, "This is okay when we're only here a few hours a day, but when I've got myself and a partner and two or three kids and we're here 24 seven, this is getting a little old."

And so all the more important for that sort of planning of how am I going to do my work? Who's going to be where? And really making sure we've got it under control, because that makes a difference. Again, people are reading, people are learning new skills. Technology, it's trying new technology, somebody said. That's been one for me, you're forced because all of a sudden, you're needing to do new things that maybe you didn't do in the past. But once again, let's look at that as a positive. It's a new skill that you're coming out of. Some people have told me that they've become much better cooks and bakers in this time because they've had a little bit of time to... Well, and they need to their home with their families, they're cooking more, but they've learned to cook new things that they never knew before. So this is a positive that sometimes comes out of a negative change.

Let's see a couple of last things, people are cherishing spending more time with family, decluttering, flow state, walks, making bed every day. That's a good one, I like that one. Get up and shower, change your clothes, get out of PJs. That's a very good piece of advice for any of us that are working from home. You really are in a different mindset when you do that versus if you're just sitting there in the pajamas all day long. People need to allow themselves to feel okay if they do not feel the need to physically connect like other people say they do, everyone is different. Let me address that because that's a really good point. So, recognize that there are people who are more introverted and more extroverted. So some people really do get that energy from within. They don't need to connect with a million different people to get energized. There are some people who are extroverts that that is where they get their energy.

And those are the people who are really struggling I think, in many cases with the social isolation, because they do get their energy from the outside and unfortunately, they're not able to have that those same kind of connections. But even introverts need connectedness with other people. There's a difference between being Susie Sunshine and out there with everybody all the time, versus just having a human connection with somebody. And even the most introverted people still need to have that connection. Especially when these kinds of changes are happening, we need to have that support. And so, I would still encourage anybody, even if it's one or two people that you have really deep close relationships with, that's important to make sure that you're maintaining that. Somebody else said, "Finally signed up for a master class, what better time than now? More time to take care of things that I didn't have time before." So, excellent.

So, I'm seeing a lot of really good attitudes in there and that's really, really important. And so check in with yourself on a regular paces. How are you doing? Especially again, somebody had mentioned with all the unrest that's happening, I think that everybody was starting to get a little bit comfortable with this pandemic thing. We're thinking, "Okay." States are starting to reopen, cities are starting to reopen, we're slowly on the mend here and then this whole thing hit. And so what happened? Boom. How is that now go into effect reopening. It could have effects on it, especially in certain places. But look, change is the name of the game. We said that in the beginning, it is inevitable, it's going to keep happening. That unfortunately is a sad change that has happened. Hopefully, something good is going to come as a result of that, but it may be a while before we see that. So I can't figure out all the problems of the world. I can't solve all of those things, but I can figure out me.

What do I need to do in order to get through this change and hopefully contribute positively to it so that maybe I can help other people. So that's why taking care of myself is so critically, critically important. Many of you had mentioned they're following a routine and that is absolutely right on target. Figure out your routines and also keep in mind for those of you with children, your routine is about to change again, you're probably in the last weeks of school right now. And so whatever routine you have figured out that worked for you up until now, with educating your children and all of that, is going to change on the last day of school. Now, if you're lucky and you're in one of those places, where camps are open and your child will have a place to go, that's great. But there are a lot of places again, I refer back to New York City because I've just been talking with a lot of people there. They've been telling me... Some of them, not all of them, that a lot of their camps have already called it, they're not having camps, closed.

So these people are scrambling now to figure out, "Am I going to go through now a whole summer of my child home with no school and what am I going to do?" So, again, pivot, pivot pivot. Every single time something else changes, sometimes it's little, sometimes it's big, I need to be ready to just swing into action and figure out what my next move is going to be. And so that's critical. Somebody just said, "My mother lost her sister to cancer and during the end of her life, my mom realized that she could never make [inaudible 00:53:28] better." Oh, yeah. Absolutely. But that's it. She had that realization of, "There was only so much that was in my power, so I do what I can." You've probably heard the analogy, the oxygen mask analogy. You're on an airplane, you're listening to the safe [inaudible 00:53:49] cabin pressure, your oxygen mask is going to drop down. What are you supposed to do with it? Let's see how well you all listen to those instructions. Tell me in the chat. Good. Several people are saying put yours on first. Absolutely.

On an airplane focus on yourself first, you won't be breathing, you're going to be passing out and you're not going to help yourself or anybody else. In real life though, how often do you put the mask on yourself first? Probably rarely. We all take care of our kids or significant other or elderly parents or siblings or friends or neighbors or co-workers or bosses, everybody and then when I get a minute, I'll do stuff for me. Well, honestly, that's backwards. Because if I want to help other people, if I want to be the best version of me and play all those roles as well as I need to, I need to put the mask on myself first. I need to eat right and exercise, I need to balance my stress, I need to get enough sleep. I need to recognize that I need time for me. We talked about starting your day off right. Take those extra 10 or 15 minutes, just to sit quietly to meditate, to pray, whatever it is that you do that helps you to set the tone of the day. Don't forget to laugh.

Are a lot of you still laughing despite all of this? Even though it's clearly been a very difficult time for the past 10 weeks, but especially the last week. Are you still laughing? Okay. I'm seeing some yeses. Sure, absolutely. About silly things. Yeah. Don't forget to laugh, because laughter truly is good medicine. It really could help us get past some of the difficulties that we have, it lightens the moment, it's something that's contagious as well. So when we're laughing with our family members, with our friends, we all feel better as a result of that. Good. Somebody said. "My adult daughter makes me listen to funny podcasts?" Absolutely. Comedies, movies, home movies, we did that one of the first weeks that my oldest daughter was back home here, we watched videos of when they were little kids. And we laughed and laughed and laughed. Because, look, there's enough sadness, there's enough difficulty when we're going through hard changes.

But if we remember to laugh, that's going to give us again, that strength to be able to keep going. The difference between reacting and responding because I give myself that moment to breathe, to enjoy, to recognize that life is good in general. There's going to be bad stuff. There's no question about it, but I still need to refocus my attention on those positives. So going forward, recognize again, that you can get stuck in some of those stages. This unrest that's been happening in the last week, I think showed us that, that we are going back in circles. We were we're heading in a straight line for a while, things were getting a little bit better and then this thing happened. And now we're like, "Oh no, oh no, what now? What now? What now?" We go back in circles. That's reality. And it could be our own reality if something happens in our own private lives, not just something as public as that. But we need to be willing to learn, we need to be willing to step out of that comfort zone, get past the fear.

Fear comes oftentimes because of that fear of failure or fear of not knowing. But if we don't worry about failing as much as not taking steps forward, not taking a chance, we start again shifting our view of what is going on. Push yourself, give yourself that opportunity, believe in yourself first of all. And then push yourself a little bit to move in that direction. And you know what? When I asked you that question, have you all been through some changes in the past? What worked for you? What didn't work for you? I had so many responses, I couldn't even keep up with the scrolling in the chat box. Clearly, you have been here before, you may not have had the exact same experience you're having right now with COVID-19, but you've had other things. And this is where we can use those past learnings to help us move forward. So, I meant to mention, so here's some resources for you that we thought you might find helpful.

And again, we're just so glad that you decided to join us today. If anybody's got any last questions, we've got about two minutes left, feel free to put that in. Oh, somebody said, "I love the app Calm." The app Calm is excellent as well. Headspace, Calm and Ten Percent Happier are my three go-tos. Somebody said, "My company is constantly reorganizing, does this..." Oh, hang it's scrolling. "Does this mean that each reorganization that came before was not effective, not necessary or unwarranted? How do organizations justify constant reshuffling?" Well, you know what? Sadly, lots of times where we sit, we don't know what's going on. I told you before within the organization that I had worked with, there were plenty of times where everybody questioned things, even myself. And we said, "Why are they doing this? Do we really need to do this now? I don't think so." And you know what? Again, somebody is sitting at the helm there, hopefully from a helicopter view and is looking at all of those things.

And sometimes we do have to just trust that those changes are happening for a reason. They're not necessarily, if we're going through a lot of changes, it doesn't necessarily mean that the changes that came before were wrong. It just means we needed to build on something, we needed to go in yet another direction. Because listen, time doesn't stand still. And we saw that with everything that's happening in the world in the last two months, is everything keeps moving forward and we have to be able to go with it. And so It's not necessarily fixing mistakes as much as adjusting to new changes that might be happening. Let's just see, I know we're right at the top of the hour. I'm just looking to see if there's any other comments I want to share. No, other people just commenting on Calm. Somebody's asking, "Can you send us the presentation?" I do believe and I don't know Dave, if you can help me with that? I do believe that the presentation will be available to you if you attended the session.

All right. So we'll check on that. Somebody said, "How can we identify if the pain and effort we may need to undergo is worth the change?" Again, you never know until you go through it unfortunately sometimes. But those again, are those learnings. Sometimes it's well worth it and many of us will agree with that in changes we've gone through and sometimes you say, "Maybe not." So again, take it with a grain of salt, it is those learnings that are going to help with future changes that happen. And that's it. And we are over the hour, so I'm going to have to end this here. Thank you so much for being with us today. I'm so glad you came, I hope you found this helpful. Hope I get to talk to you again soon. And in the meantime, please everybody be careful, be well and take care. Have a good day, everybody. Bye, bye.

  

 

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