My last post “The Sixth Sense” discussed the stages of grief as a model for understanding our emotional responses to organizational change.
But I have always felt we were missing a foundational element in our understanding of the grieving cycle.
This gap was recently brought up by a group of scientists in one of my workshops.
They recognized the grieving curve in their organization, and they could also see that NOT everyone was on the same page at the same time and there was a missing link that was not being addressed.
This gap brings us to the missing element of change and grieving: SUSPENSION.
In suspension, we take all of our beliefs, all of our “have to’s,” all of our assumptions – and we let them go.
SERIOUSLY let them GO.
When we let go, we make space for something new.
We make space for acceptance.
We give room for others to be human.
We all experience grieve in our own way.
In organizations experiencing change, we go through the curve of grief as a group, and people get stuck in different stages at different times.
The element of suspension allows us to open ourselves and others to new learning, new possibilities, new realities but on our own timetable.
When it comes to people we must be patient.
When it comes to leadership we must engage all.
When it comes to life we must embrace the journey.
We must sometimes let go of our beliefs and assumptions to make room for others.
To successfully lead in times of change, we have to embrace suspending:
- Suspend judgment.
- Suspend “should.”
- Suspend preconceived notions.
One of the most uncomfortable aspects of change is the sense of losing control. As those around you process change, look at what they do as they try to gain control, and listen to what they are beginning to accept and understand.
Demonstrating the element of suspension gives us the room to re-establish and re-engage, and shows those around us- to do the same.
To be successful in change know that everyone has their own pace, and as we go through the phase of change we will always be learning, understanding, and suspending.
Lead From Within: Letting go of what should be, we allow ourselves the time and space for us to live in what can be. As you go through change in life and in work, be patient with the curve of emotions. Suspend judgment and make room for emotional development.
Next week: Change: Am I ready?