Embrace Change with Empathy

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Come What May, Come What Might

Though a new year can seem exciting and full of promising new adventures, for some it could also mean new fears and worries. Just as we didn’t know what events would unfold in 2023, we similarly don’t know if 2024 will be a continuation of existing trends or herald dramatic shifts. One thing is certain: a new year brings change—some planned and some unplanned.

Not knowing what lurks on the horizon can be unsettling, even stressful. When we see alarming news or are faced with a sudden change, we should shift our focus to those things in our lives that we can directly influence, as suggested here by work-life wellness coach Jenny Maenpaa. We may not have control over things like inflation or the cost of living, but we can influence our budget, as exemplified by shoppers increasingly flocking to cost-saving grocers like Aldi.

The ability to accept and embrace change may not be as elusive as it seems. As with altering our budget to accommodate fluctuating costs, many of us can indeed navigate change. The true difficulty then lies not in handling change, but in handling sudden change. Companies and teams similarly had to figure out new ways to work with the onset of 2020’s coronavirus pandemic. Sudden change swept over workplaces throughout the globe and team leaders had to quickly adapt and adopt evolving strategies lest their organizations crumble.

Skip forward to today and we’ve beheld the many benefits of such unexpected changes, notably delineated by increased productivity and well-being within modern flexible workplaces. As hybrid and remote options now shape the offices of the future, evident in this podcast with Time Doctor co-founder Liam Martin and Google’s Dart Lindsley, unexpected change doesn’t mean negative change.

Though sudden change can indeed be disconcerting, empathy can help us transcend from discomfort to mastery, as expressed by consultant Simon Sinek in this video. We don’t all have to be excited or worried about what this new year will bring. So long as we’re kind to ourselves and each other, we’ll surmount coming changes, be they planned or unplanned.

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”
– John C. Maxwell

Do you have an idea you want to share with an empowered community of self-aware professionals? If you’d like to contribute an idea or article to ‘In The Flow of Work’ on the Evolve blog, just send us a message or submit a post to our Head of Content, Adam Schneider

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