This week we’re going to explore some ideas around being intentional with our transition to change. We’ll look at the importance of keeping our adaptation at the forefront of our thinking, and some tips on how to do that.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I define change as the event, thing or situation that will be different, and transition as the process of adapting to that change.
Transitions: The invisible passage to successful change.
What I have seen time and again, and have also experienced for myself, is that regardless of how monumental the change may be, we often discount the importance of the transition.
The type of change doesn’t really matter. It could be a new beginning such as a new job, a relocation, a new child or marriage; an ending, like a lay-off, retirement, a break-up, or something more subtle, like aging.
Regardless of the type of change, more often than not our focus is on the change event, much more than on our transition to it.
In fact, for many of us, that we will at some point adapt is assumed, and it is often an unconscious occurrence.
One day we are in a new learning environment (because of the change). We may struggle a bit here and there, it could even be highly frustrating, stressful and anxiety producing some or most of the time. Something happens - a shift or ‘aha’ moment occurs - which we may not even notice, and then, voila! We wake up one morning and realize we’ve adapted (or are just not struggling so much any more).
But what if we paid more attention to that adjustment or transition period? What might that look like? Well, once we’re aware that a change takes place, we take measures to prepare ourselves for the adjustment. Not just the physical, external part of our change, but also our internal world.
The spectrum of intention.
Being intentional about our transition to change is similar to being intentional about our diet, or our time. Some of us are much more structured in these areas than others, or have a stronger interest in planning ahead than others.
These differences could be based on different philosophies about transitions in general. This is fine when the change effects one individual, but can become problematic when it involves more than one person, such as a family, team, or company, when we don’t realize these differences exist.
Having a better understanding of each other’s preferences to transitions is one of the things that can be discovered when creating a transition plan. But if we’re not intentional about our transitions in the first place, these differences are just another thing that can create challenges along the way.
We’ll talk more about what it means to create a transition plan in future posts, but for this week the focus is going to be about how we can stay intentional with our change amidst the chaos of daily life.
The invasiveness of daily life.
The funny thing about change is that it can be considered something separate from our daily lives until it happens. So if we know about it in advance, even if we have the best intentions of planning and preparing for it, daily life is happening NOW, and has a tendency monopolize our plans as a result.
Unless we are intentional about how we incorporate our transition into the mix, and in identifying where the potential disruptors to our plan exist, it is easy for it to be pushed to the side, until, alas, the change is upon us or has already happened, and we realize we’re not as prepared as we’d like to be.
This can result in a much more turbulent transition than it needs to be. Tomorrow I’ll share an example of just how this can happen.
What do you think?
In the mean time, what are your thoughts on being intentional with transitions to change? Are you a believer or is it all poppycock? Share your perspectives and let’s have a conversation?
About the Author
Megan Rounds, Ed.D. is owner and principle perculator of perculcha, llc.
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