It felt good to be asked to be a part of a strategic task force group. I felt ‘seen’, recognised, respected. I felt good, on a high. However, the leadership wasn’t clear what we were to do or how. A few months later, the group was disbanded. There wasn’t much communication, they just slowly stopped calling meetings and the group stopped engaging. I felt discarded, cast aside, disrespected, a bit of a failure, and wondering what my role was.
When we seek to bring about change we need people. While, ideally, we want people to feel the first set of feelings, we must expect there will be others in the second camp too. There is a huge part of change rooted in the hearts of people. Their identity.
For good and ill, much of our identity is wrapped up in what we do. Therefore, when what we do changes, it impacts our identity. And therefore, when we communicate about change we need to consider underlying identity issues too. When we do, we connect with people better and people feel ‘seen’.