Birthday parties, especially children’s ones, are overflowing with emotions. There is excitement, expectation, surprise, joy, delight, happiness, laughter. But there is often also anger, anxiety, nervousness, fear, sadness, exclusion, sibling rivalry, jealousy, rage, envy, and lots of tears. Sometimes these are all wrapped up in one person, other times they are spread across many persons. And often multiple emotions show up together creating interesting ‘fireworks’.
There is no value is denying the emotions exist. They are real even if we can’t distinguish them or name them.
Signficant organisational change is often like this too. Emotions of all sorts are occuring in everyone affected. Even if the emtions are not on ‘display’ or acknowledged, they are present. And similar to birthday parties, there is no value in denying they exist.
Emotions can be signals. Change makers look for signals, markers, and hints at how people are reacting and experiencing the change or proposed change. Change makers create spaces for emotions to be acknowledged, named, and also help those experiencing emotions (everyone) to identify the choices/options available to the person about what to do next.
Emotions are valuable. Emotions are real. And there are always options available on what to do with them.