Sometimes change just hurts

change, moving,

A few weeks ago our neighbours moved to another province. From the moment she learned that her best friend, neighbour and classmate was moving, my daughter was heartbroken.

While we maximized opportunities to play together over the summer months and demonstrated the power of Skyping, she really struggled with the change. There were many tearful bedtime conversations about how things would never be the same.

Many well meaning people told me :”Kids are resilient.” My husband and I tried to point out the silver lining of opportunity and adventure the move represents for this family and opportunities to visit; but the truth is, she was sad. She didn’t chose this. It was a huge change for her and it hurt.

It got me thinking about how we handle change in organizations. We want to ‘manage’ change, overcome objections, convince people the outcome will be for the best, implement processes, etc… In this process, is it possible we are working so hard to implement the change that we gloss over the deep and painful emotions it can evoke? Are we uncomfortable with the emotions that change evokes? Sometimes we just need to acknowledge that change hurts. It involves loss, fear and uncertainty that is painful for everyone.

In my case, acknowledging the feelings and that they are difficult; providing a little time, space, Skype and ice-cream seem to be helping.

Published by Dominique O'Rourke

Public Affairs professional, City Councillor, MA Leadership graduate, problem solver and lifelong learner.

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