Young children + Trampoline = noise.
9 months ago we move into a property which had been vacant for over 5 years. The property was becoming derelict. It took us a few days to get the water, electrics, and heating working in the house. Outside, 3 of the 5 buildings have asbestos roofs. All the windows in the outbuildings was broken. And the 2 acres of land itself was covered in 6 foot high stinging nettles.
Therefore, upon arrival, one of the first things we did was put up a trampoline to give our young kids a safe place to play. It seemed sensible. And yes, we were aware our presence on the property would create some noise. Noise that hadn’t been present for over 5 years. We thought this would be expected and understood by the neighbours.
However we were wrong.
Our reaction to change is rarely logical. It sets off emotions. Those of us planning change or leading it tend to think about it logically. Rationally. For nearly everyone else it is experienced emotionally.
Our neighbours are very bright, talented, smart people. None of them would disagree that after 5 years of the property being vacant, any one moving in would cause more noise than was present during the 5 years. None of them would argue that we create significant noise before 8am or after 8pm. All of them are aware we’ve been in lockdown for over 6 months with the kids home from school and it’s been the summer holidays.
However, they have complained that we are too noisy. As a result, we are disturbing the village. Our kids on the trampoline are too loud. The same people who commented to us 9 months ago that they were happy a young family was moving in.
Change is a good idea until it affects us. Change is a good idea until it happens different than we want or expect. Responding to emotion with logic rarely helps unless we first ‘hear’ the emotion. People need to feel heard and seen.
This is true in neighbourhoods and in organisations.
We are very sad to learn this. I can say that this does not apply to the whole village. It does the heart good to hear children play outside in these times. I can remember when it was all a working farm. There were milking cows and their calfs. Pigs and beef animals all housed during the winter. Outside in the summer. Selling bottled milk. Cattle lorries moving animals to market or between farms. More activity then!
Thanks John. Our village is an amazing place, filled with generous, kind, and talented people. We love being here and becoming part of the community. Most of my writing is about digital transformation in organisations, which is all about change, but I seek to use examples from everyday life to talk about digital and organisations. (I’m also amazed that someone in our little village found my blog!)