What to Do When Overwhelmed by Change

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Podcast

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These past few weeks have been intense, and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by change – and I typically handle significant change well. I have never been so happy for Friday to come as I was last week! So, for this week’s Reflect Forward, I thought I’d share my thoughts on what to do when you are overwhelmed by change. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed – you are, of course, human – but as a leader, you must work through it effectively, so you can lead your team well. And it’s okay to acknowledge your feelings. It’s not a sign of weakness; rather, it’s a critical step towards effective leadership and organizational resilience.

Here are five strategies for business leaders to navigate through the waves of change:

  1. Embrace Vulnerability

Acknowledging your feelings of being swamped by change is crucial. When leaders are candid about their difficulties, it fosters a culture of transparency and assistance, which is essential for coping with uncertain times.

  1. Prioritize Self-Care

When leaders are busy with organizational change, they often forget to take care of themselves. But self-care is not an option; it’s a requirement for lasting leadership. Staying active, getting enough sleep, and seeking mental health help are crucial.

  1. Seek Diverse Perspectives

Leaders should seek different points of view from inside and outside their organization. Different ideas can result in creative solutions, help leaders have a broader vision, and help them see change and change management from a different perspective.

  1. Delegate and Empower

A leader cannot and should not do everything by themselves. Delegation is more than a way to manage workload; it’s a chance to strengthen team members. Delegating reduces the leader’s stress and creates a more adaptable and skilled team.

  1. Give it Time

Change is not something that happens in a day; it takes time and effort. Acknowledge that both you and your organization need time to digest, comprehend, and apply changes successfully. Keep in mind, lasting change is a long race, not a short one.

The Importance of Leading Through Change

To lead through change is not only about coping with the present situation but also preparing the organization for future opportunities. Leaders who manage their overwhelm well can keep clarity and focus, which are vital for strategic planning and decision-making. Also, by setting an example, they inspire confidence and resilience in their teams.

Furthermore, a leader’s ability to handle change well is essential for their success. Forbes says that 31% of CEOs lose their jobs for failing to manage organizational change well. And Gartner reports that a shocking 73% of employees affected by change say that they experience moderate to high levels of stress.

In short, the recognition of overwhelm and the active steps to navigate through it are not just about survival but about flourishing in a world of constant change. Business leaders who admit vulnerability, prioritize well-being, seek diverse perspectives, commit to continuous learning, and empower their teams are not just navigating change; they are creating the future.

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