When I found out my Mom’s cancer was terminal, a good friend said to me, ‘Don’t let anyone tell you, they know what you are going through. Everyone’s cancer journey is different. There may be similarities, but your journey with your Mom will be unique.’ And he knew as he had lost his Mom to cancer a few years prior.
Loss, pain and death are a part of life. That doesn’t mean they are easy to deal with. And sometimes a ‘small’ pain or loss triggers a memory of a much more significant loss. Often pain, loss, and death result in ‘feeling alone’.
Change is no different. It is a part of life, but that doesn’t mean it is easy. And it definitely can be triggering. This doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. This means you are human. And change is experienced differently by us all. It involves loss, pain, and sometimes even death (literally and figuratively). And yes, it also involves opportunities which were not apparent before the change.
Remembering that we all experience change differently might be one of the most important roles of leaders and change makers. Figuring out how to be both sympathetic and empathetic, while still achieving business or organisation objectives is key. Too often though, the business objectives are the only focus. People are seen as expendable, simply inputs and cost centres in the equation.
Change makers understand people and organisations. They understand change impacts us all differently. There may be similarities of experience, but everyone’s journey will be unique. They don’t fight this or try to put everyone in a box. No, change makers embrace uniqueness and journey with. They ‘witness’ the pain and the loss, while also pointing out and seizing together new opportunities that present themselves.
Journeying together is a choice. A choice made by everyone involved.