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July 18, 2012

The Importance of Embracing Change.

Embrace change. It’s the only constant.

In all of nature, nothing stands still. Were either growing or falling away.

The time we spend complaining about the change or pining for the good old days is time wasted. It invests energy where there will be no return rather than nurturing what is growing.

When I first purchased an electronic planner (PDA) I was frustrated that it took me so long to enter appointments and notes in it. After a lifetime of using a pocket planner that I could easily add to as new thoughts occurred or a new appointment arose, I felt as though I were trying to run a mile with weights on my hands and feet. I pushed it aside in frustration and went back to my trusty planner. Then, in a sales meeting, I was diligently applying correction fluid to entries that had changed and a colleague complained of the smell.

“Didn’t you just buy a PDA?” he asked.

I admitted I had.

“Well, you know you could make all these changes at one time and not poison the rest of us with toxic fumes while you did it. What’s the problem?”

I admitted with a red face that I found it too difficult to learn and took too long to do. He took out his PDA and showed me the two steps needed to do what I was laboriously doing manually. I was impressed. He recommended I tackle one function a day and learn to do it quickly before moving on and that I sync with my computer every day so that I could enjoy having my information match in both places, something that seldom happened with my planner.

Soon I was tapping away on my PDA without a thought. A step at a time, I had overcome the learning curve and embraced the new technology. Similarly, you may chafe at a new policy or procedure at your employer or within your customer and feel as though you’re being put in restraints. That’s when embracing change becomes a lifeline. How?

First, understand why the change has been made and don’t waste energy deciding whether you agree with the reasons or not. You didn’t get to vote. Live with it.

Second, look for any ways you might benefit from the change. With my PDA, for example, I had matching data and no longer had to waste time getting light-headed waiting for the correction fluid to dry so I could make a new entry.

Third, identify specific steps you can take in manageable increments to learn the new procedure or adapt to the new policy.

Fourth, if you’re struggling, ask for help. Sometimes just talking it through or being shown how someone else is doing it makes the difference.

The most important element in all this is attitude.

Check yours at the door. Embrace change. Cultivating a willingness to change is how we keep growing and improving. As Anais Nin wrote,

And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

If you still think you can fight the blistering jet speed onrush of change, it’s time to get in your horse and buggy and take a slow ride home.

Read the other articles in this series:

Using Respect to Create a Mindful Business.

The Importance of Empathy in Business.

The Importance of Listening.

The Importance of Persistence & Patience.

Why We Need to Avoid Rationalization.

Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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