In delivering change in an uncertain world, change management practitioners have a tough job. They work with organisations that are continuously evolving, leading difficult conversations, and handling heightened emotions from clients, leaders, and employees. Further, with the pandemic affecting the world, change practitioners are dealing with an additional layer of complexity. It is easy for these challenges to take a toll on their mental and emotional well-being. It seems that working in change now has a three-fold challenge!
Managing Emotions in a Continuously Changing Environment
- Many change practitioners normally work in a state of ‘toxic emotion overload’ where they need to have difficult conversations and deal with negative responses from employees and leaders. It’s an occupational hazard that can lead to burnout. In pre-pandemic times, practitioners needed to practice self-care to counter. This includes considering self-care practices that addressphysical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual aspects of life.
- Change managers also navigate vulnerability and discomfort in new ways of working. When you are working in new ways, you are often doing things for the first time, and that often brings with it extreme feelings of vulnerability and discomfort you need to process. Change Managers are not immune!
- The pandemic has brought a new context to the world of change management. Practitioners have had to deal with many firsts, including running team meetings from their kitchen bench and dealing with family members in the background while speaking. The pandemic has also had an impact on practitioners’ work and home lives, making it challenging to balance both.
Change is Changing
The types of change that change practitioners face when delivering change in an uncertain world include:
- The change of role to one of partner, coach and facilitator
- New ways of learning and knowledge transfer
- Human centred design principles
- Accommodating an increased presentation of trauma responses in the organisation.
So…facing into this on top of toxic emotional handling and adapting to a post pandemic life is a triple twist pike!
The Importance of Self-Care and Self-Compassion
This is why we are big advocates of self-care and self-compassion. They are critical for sustainability in the world of agile change. Practicing self-care can help you find balance and techniques to support yourself better. Additionally, practicing self-compassion can help us better process our emotions and move forward, even in times of uncertainty. As change practitioners, it is crucial to recognise the value of self-care and self-compassion, and to make them a priority in our work and personal lives.
On the positive side – our latest analysis of our Agile Change Management Scorecard shows us this is the domain that change managers score the highest in!
Want more of this? Head to our Teachable page and scroll down the curriculum. You’ll find Module 5.4 Self- compassion, self-care and the Change Manager is free to preview. Just what you need to keep you future fit and job ready for change in an uncertain world.