We live in a transformational era (not you and me but all the others ofcourse). Paradigms are shifting like never before. Change is all around us. Dynamics have conquered statics. While more and more people seem to embrace change, this might also be very scary for some. After all, the safe, comfortable status quo you know gives you no real reason to embrace change, so why should you? It’s the natural resistance against change. But there’s also a downside to it. Because if you sustain the status quo, you might turn it into a downward spiral that is isolating itself more and more, suffering from learning disabilities more and more and might even turn into incestuous learning culture because renewal isn’t brought in at a regular pace. The fear for learning something new will become greater and greater, the longer you sustain the status quo. Probably the last thing you would want. But how can you let go if your scary? If you’re not sure if you can change? If you’re not sure about the risks, about being out of control?
I used to be scary for change in the past. And now I embrace it. I am not afraid for it anymore. What has happened to me? I once was on a training course about communication. In this course we did many exercises. There was one specific exercise, that never left my brains. It was about empathy. During the exercise, we had to collectively decide how easy we thought it would be to change a certain undesirable situation. And while most of us said it was easy to let go the teacher told us it wasn’t. She said the following: you can only disconnect something that is connected. She learned us how important it is to be empathic if you want to change something. You must show empathy for the person, team or “situation” that still has the connection with the old situation. Take away his/her fears. And only then you might be able to disconnect. But this will only be succesful for situations you can control. Things that are out of your control will be hard to change by you alone. You might need help there from others. So to protect yourself, as a change agent, you have to learn to let things you cannot control go. And if you cán control the situation you are trying to change, you will discover that by making a disconnection, you are in fact making room for something new. By making room, the ‘but we’ve always done it this way‘ statement will no longer be blocking the change. To summarize, by showing empathy and taking away fears for the unknown, you can learn people to embrace change. It can be done! Happy letting go!