Sideway Thumbs

by | Oct 28, 2019 | Change |

“How are you feeling about the move?” Two thumbs up from my daughter and sideways thumbs from my son. “I’m a bit nervous and scared,” he said. And so we talked about my daughter’s thumbs up and my son’s nerves. The nerves are still there (I have them too!) but they are shared now.

Change always brings with it ‘sideway thumbs’ for people. We may not be thriving in the status quo, but it’s known and somewhat comfortable.

Some change like moving house across the country or changing jobs is a big change. Other change is not. Our house is full of boxes now, so it’s pretty obvious it is happening. But change is not always ‘marked’ like this.

And then there is planning. We had planned to move in the summer to be settled in before the start of the new school year. And as November approaches, we are moving out of our house, but only into temporary housing as we continue to sort out the final bits of the new house. This has added to the nerves of us and the kids. And yet, not going according to plan is common in most bigger change processes.

Listening to our teams during change is vital. Expecting things not to go according to plan is helpful – talking with our teams about this is even more helpful. Figuring out ‘anchors’ for each team member can help give them some familiarity during the process. For the kids its certain stuffed animals and their bed sheets. For teams it could be who sits beside whom, regular ‘check in’ sessions, or even having ‘video lunches’. Have fun with it.

Change is uncomfortable, but essential. All of us will be nervous about different aspects of the change. Being able to identify it and share it, helps us support each other.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez


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