How do the main actors feel?

In a professional conversation in which I participated recently, the participants commented on how they were surprised by the capacity that some people have to accept and adapt to the new roles and responsibilities the company asks them at every moment. For various reasons, sometimes these changes are implemented in a very short period of time or sometimes there is no option to ask, understand or negotiate about that new scenario. We swallow it dry, without water, and we move forward. In no case does this article intend to make a criticism of the change management and internal communication models of companies, on the contrary, it seeks to put the focus on how people, as individuals, face (professional) decisions from third parties that can deeply affect their performance and personal well-being and of those around them.

In some cases, the company does not share its analysis on the suitability of the change, nor does it offer to the person involved the opportunity, time or resources to reflect and detect how he or she feels and what he or she would need personally to develop that new task with the success the organization expects. By this I do not mean that flexibility and adaptability are not excellent skills in professional life. What I would like to highlight is precisely this capacity of some people to accept everything that comes from outside without reflecting on what skills and abilities they may need to activate or reinforce in order to enjoy this new journey. Yes, to enjoy. And even more, what emotion the new perspective generates in them and how they want to live this new stage. Because emotions generate thoughts and thoughts condition our actions.

In my practice as a coach I often see how some people systematically put themselves in the last place when it comes to defining priorities regarding where to invest their energy, attention, effort and smiles. They embrace the new professional scenario with all their available resources, without questioning the side effects it may imply for them. Consciously or unconsciously, they live for others and, consequently, they place in the hands the recognition and love that will nourish them along the way. They dedicate few resources to love themselves and, therefore, lose their own freedom.

In other cases, the reason that leads to a similar response is fear: fear of “not being able”, fear of saying “no”, fear of showing vulnerability, fear of “I don’t know”, fear of “what will they think if”. Beyond fear as a perceived threat, not a real one, if you were able to detect and express what really concerns you about the new scenario, you would open up the possibility of solving it. 

On other occasions the person imposes such a high level of self-demand that builds its identity through its actions, he is what he does. Any mistake is considered a failure that directly affects his identity. He does not allow himself to question the new role and imposes himself to perform under perfection (as if perfection were attainable…).

What is draws attention is that, by acting this way, one may think that he places the company at the first place of his priorities, often due to responsibility and commitment. Many times, however, courage and honest personal reflection are lacking to identify what is needed to learn, improve, leave…, to take responsibility for the new scenario with confidence to achieve success. Similarly, companies in most cases do prepare a forecast of investment, timing, budget, outcome, roles, geographical area, … However, they often do not forecast a preparation and accompaniment program for these main actors, so that they feel confident, secure and strong with the new project. As a consequence, the correct implementation and success is seriously put at risk. 

From my point of view, incorporating the factor “How do the main actors feel?” to any project is fundamental to approach success in its widest sense, in addition to the traditional company and business decisions.

January 2020