Employees Can’t “Just Get Over It”

changeBeing a human, or a human being, is a tough gig. One of the more difficult parts of being human also happens to be a thing we frequently experience in one way or another: change.

Change takes many forms. Growth. Development. Shift. Adjustment. Redirection. Rejuvenation. Rebirth. Rethinking. Transformation.

And it can be experienced and perceived both positively and negatively, yes? Sometimes the change feels good and generates feelings of happiness or contentment. Other times, not so much. It can drive us to our knees in despair, anger, and hopelessness.

Organizational life isn’t immune to this phenomenon. Shift happens. [Insert your favorite clich√© shift_happensphrase about change here. Maybe “Change is the only constant” or something.]

Since we’re all humans (I’m operating under the assumption that it’s mostly humans who read this blog), we each deal with change differently, and we deal with different types of change in different ways.

Many times the way some folks deal with organizational change frustrates leaders. These leaders, most of whom I’d assume are very well-meaning, often wish others would work through change in a manner they find more acceptable. Perhaps they believe the employees are being immature. Maybe it’s the pace at which they’re working through the change. It could be the methods they’re using to navigate that time. It could be any number of things or combination of things, and I’m not even saying there’s not ever merit in those things.

Everybody, certainly including leaders, has immature moments or periods. Everybody loses their cool sometimes. Everybody handles some types of change better or faster or more smoothly than other types. Everybody has all sorts of baggage, whether you see it or not.

The-Wizard-of-Oz-House-on-witch So here’s the thing — most of the time, if there were a way for employees to slip on some ruby slippers, click their heels together, and make themselves be flawless as it relates to their ability to embrace and drive change, I think they’d do it. I know I would (although the ruby slippers would be pushing it).

But no such voodoo exists. There are reasons people all over organizations everywhere can’t just snap their fingers and “get over” things or “move on.” Sometimes they’re trying extremely hard, but just can’t do those things as quickly or in the same ways as some might want them to. Other times maybe they’re so emotionally damaged that they’ve essentially given up trying.

Again though, there are reasons. There are always reasons people do things, and that rings true here as well. What might some of them be?

We’ll look at some of them tomorrow. In the meantime, think through your own attitude toward change. How do you cope with it? What methods work for you? What methods don’t? What tips would you share?

But also, think through your attitude toward others as they navigate change. Are you empathetic? Kind? Impatient? Arrogant? Cranky, irritable, and bloated? (wait — I think that’s from some commercial or something) What do the best leaders seem to do to help people through difficult times?


5 thoughts on “Employees Can’t “Just Get Over It”

  • Agree with you that people have their own individual ways of dealing with change. Personally, I think being open-minded helps a lot. There would always be some people who’d resist change, some would seem indifferent, and still some others would be open to it and looking forward to grab any opportunities with both hands. You have to try and be in the last category, and keep in mind that an idea whose time has come can be resisted for a while, but can’t be stopped. So better embrace than resist.

  • Wait! Who are you? Do I know you? (Gotta go find out…)
    THIS was a great post. Absolutely. The post and the fact that it is spot on and as Leaders we need to get a grip. On ourselves, obviously, but also knowing this to be true.

    There are some things that aren’t made to “get over”. Some, certainly not quickly, most not without at least a bump in stride and those some… maybe never.

    I, too, work under the assumption that most around me are at the very least, made with human DNA… but it seems we humans tend to forget that we ARE all different.

  • I am one that embraces change and look for opportunities. This post however, made me reflect that I need to be patient with those who arn’t as quick to embrace change. Good post thanks for sharing!

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