Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Look for possibilities in change

"It isn't the changes that do you in, it's the transitions," I reread in a book I had purchased when I was a magazine managing editor facing lots of changes in our workplace. "Change is not the same as transition.

"Change is situational, the new site, the new boss, the new team roles, the new policy. Transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation. Change is external, transition is internal."

William Bridges explains this process in his book Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change. Also the author of the took Transitions, Bridges says that transitions begin with an ending, with a letting go of something, followed by what he calls "the neutral zone" or the land between the old and the new realities.

Yesterday we talked about the changes as we age. There are many other changes that occur in life. You may be experiencing relationship changes. Career or job changes. Changes with aging parents or with children leaving home or going through crisis. Changes because of illness—yours or a loved one's. You and I constantly experience some form of change in our lives. It's important to pay attention and manage those changes and transitions.

Bridges points out the dangers and the possibilities embedded within the neutral zone that lies between the change and the actual transition. He calls the neutral zone the "best chance for creativity, renewal, and development."

Take a look at the changes and transitions you are facing to see what possibilities might be there for you. What do you need to do right now? How might you manage these in a creative way?

Please contact me should you wish to discuss a transition in your life and how to negotiate it.

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