Learn how to calm anxieties to get the results you want
Change is the only constant, and it’s disruptive. Right now, we’re all experiencing change on a global level, and we’re all at home together. We’re asking questions, giving ourselves time to react, and building plans to respond and move forward, so we can understand and address the impacts to the big picture. The anxieties around change are especially pointed when we are managing or are part of a team and everyone’s anxieties are factors. Here are a few ways to communicate with your team, manage difficult interactions, and calm anxieties to get the results you want.
I know you’ve heard it before, but you can’t control everything. Accept the change, it’s happening, and you can’t stop it. Frame it as a learning opportunity. Communicate your thoughts to your team to uncover new ideas and insights to address the change. Teamwork is a powerful tool in your belt to get to your desired goal. With that collaborative approach in mind, the greater the transparency and communication, the more you and your team’s anxieties around change will dissipate.
For every action, there’s a reaction, and every change has an impact. Think about how change affects you and your teammates. Then, be empathetic. View the change through your teammates’ eyes. They will appreciate that you’re acknowledging their point of view, and it’ll build trust where there are uncertainties. Considering other perspectives also helps you see the bigger picture. After you’ve given their perspectives some thought, pull the facts together, communicate, and give your team a chance to ponder and react.
If the change isn’t positive, don’t try to spin it! Your team deserves your honesty and you should trust that they are capable, smart, and likely have good ideas to smooth the path forward. This will avoid creating insecurities and violations of their trust. So stick to the facts, acknowledge the change, and move on with transparency and openness. Then, be prepared to answer questions and listen.
Sometimes things don’t work out as planned and some may react poorly to change. If that happens, you’ll need to be prepared to discuss their reactions. Approach them with an open mind; maybe there’s a part of the story you’re missing. Stick to the facts. Use statements like: “When you did this, you made [name] feel like…” or “When this happened, you did this, which resulted in…” Then, be prepared to see it from their perspective, pay attention, and ask questions.
Overall, change can be tricky. But if you’re prepared to patient, open-minded, collaborative, transparent, and honest, you’ll foster an environment of mutual respect where voices are heard, and change is embraced.