The Four Phases of Change on Your Personal Leadership Journey

The Four Phases of Change on Your Personal Leadership Journey

True change has very little in common with the flick of a light switch (or winning an election).
 

Yes, the light goes on, but it goes off just as easily – there is no stickiness or real shift. It’s just on, off, on, off. True change is much more like a journey. When you know the phases of change, you can bring awareness to where you’re currently stuck and make conscious choices to continue to move forward.

What if you’re instigating a career change or moving overseas or your organization was acquired? Even more relevant for so many now is moving forward when your candidate lost the election? Certainly, the answer is not to just roll over with passive acceptance. You can and must empower yourself to navigate your personal leadership journey through the change and use it as a catalyst for transformation.

I’ve been a change practitioner for over 20 years and strongly believe that there are things you can do to accelerate your personal change journey through each of the phases of change. Like all journeys, the change journey begins and ends with you moving. Body, heart, mind and soul all need to make the shift. 

The Four Phases of Change on Your Personal Leadership Journey
 

Phase One: Physical
 

This is where it all starts – you make a move either by choice or a force outside of your control.

This is the easiest shift to make regardless of logistical complexity. In this phase, you’re moving from point A to point B.

My client moved from the suburbs to the City to double down on his commitment not only to his day job, but also his passion as a photographer of people in urban settings.

Another client’s company was acquired, and she had to leave her comfortable office she’d been working out of for years into a shared space.

Yet another had to reschedule countless meetings and immediately travel home to be with her father in the last days of his life.

Make the Leap Tip:

A to B can have a zillion details to juggle. Put them all on a checklist and work through it.

Phase Two: Emotional
 

Change is rarely easy even when you ace the logistics. You will likely feel a sense of loss regardless if you’re moving towards something wonderful or facing an unplanned tribulation.

There’s no need to push down the emotions that keep bubbling up during your change. You need to feel them and engage with them before you can let them go and move forward. It’s also essential to identify the core of the emotion. What is it about the change that’s leading to the most upset? Often, the heart of the emotional distress is masked or suppressed. Other times, the cause is clear. The bottom line is that smart leaders are unafraid to get to what’s underneath.

Coming face-to-face with emotion may make you feel weak or stupid or less masterful because it’s outside of your safety zone. So what? It’s essential for you to reframe that thought. Emotions are the heartbeat of life. 

My client Jackie was a seasoned executive on her way from Senior Director to Vice President. We worked together to accelerate her success and promotion timeline.

A week prior to our scheduled call, Jackie found out that her son had an illness that would require ongoing care. True to form, she quickly put a plan in place but at the office was struggling to maintain her focus. She was also short tempered with her team which was out of character; they were driving her nuts. Jackie realized that her team didn’t dramatically shift their performance in a week but that something else was happening with her.

At the start of our session, Jackie asked if we could talk about something personal, her son. For our hour together she worked through the rawness of her son’s new reality and was able to begin to assimilate her feelings.  Almost immediately she was able to take a deep breath and get back on track with her critical work projects too.

Jackie was not a corporate zombie, but a leader with a full life. In her effort to segment, she stopped herself from accepting her child’s health issue and was unable to remain on target at work. As I often tell clients, half a person can’t be a whole leader.

Make the Leap Tip:

Take a beat and find a trusted advisor, mentor, coach or friend and be with the emotions you’re experiencing – the whole crazy messy lot of them. Emotions indicate aliveness and a human rawness. If you don’t want to talk it through, write about your emotions in a journal. Getting to the root of your emotional distress puts you in control instead of at emotion’s whim. You choose how, but get the feelings on the table instead of packed way in a suitcase and stored in a closet only to be reopened days, weeks or months later.

Read More...

Alli Polin
Personal Development
Twitter Email

Alli Polin, CPCC, ACC, is a former senior executive with deep experience in leadership, change management, and organization development. Now a writer, coach, and speaker, she ... Click for full bio

Don’t Be Tempted to Persuade Your Clients

Don’t Be Tempted to Persuade Your Clients
 

Recently, I've been seeing a lot of articles about Advisors persuading clients to move from active management to passive management. Persuading clients to follow the way you manage investments is a big mistake. Do this instead.

Click on image above to watch the video.

Paul Kingsman
Development
Twitter Email

Paul Kingsman helps financial services professionals overcome distractions to achieve success sooner. Combining his experiences as an Olympic medalist and his background as an ... Click for full bio