I believe there is something powerful I have been able to experience that many my age have yet to experience – longevity in one organization. It has been a tremendous blessing to plant roots, serve and grow in one place. The joy of longevity in one organization often coexists with the tension of transitions. Systems get upgraded, staff members leave, new employees join the team and organizational charts are improved. These changes are native to growing environments.
If you are a part of a growing organization, you will experience seasons of transition. In fact, any organization that is healthy and growing goes through changes. Everyone from the new volunteer to the seasoned staff member feels the impact of transitions. So how do you navigate change in a healthy way?
If you want to help yourself and others remain encouraged in the middle of change, there are 3 things you must do:
- Celebrate the Past – “Its so hard to say goodbye to yesterday”…more than just a solid lyric from Boys II Men, it is a reality for each of us. The experiences and relationships we have create a level of comfort. When in a season of transition it is so important that we celebrate where we have come from. Transitions might be necessary, but where we have been is key in helping us grow to where we need to go. (click to tweet) Within your own heart, and among the people with which you serve make sure you take time to celebrate the past.
- Acknowledge Questions and Emotions – You cannot process change while trying to speed through it. (click to tweet) Transitions evoke emotions when it affects you. Whether those emotions are positive or negative the fact is they are there. Take time to admit that change is hard. Pause and allow time to ask questions about the purpose behind the change. You might not be able to answer all of the questions, but asking questions is a healthy way you process transitions in life.
- Keep Vision Front and Center – The reality of transitions cannot distract from the importance of the vision. Vision is the purpose that gathers a team together, and vision endures beyond any member of the team. So as you process transitions make sure to keep the vision in front of each person. Allow the hope of what could be create a solid foundation when you feel like the ground is shifting. (click to tweet)