How to Help People Manage Their Emotions Just Before a Change


How to Help People Manage Their Emotions Just Before a Change

Most people behave differently just before they experience a significant change. Supporting people when they must bridge their current and future circumstances can make the difference between a successful or unsuccessful transition. 
 
During this time, most people express emotions associated with anticipationexcitement, fear, anxiety, blind optimism, sadness, etc. The spontaneous nature of these emotions leads to their amplification. Not managing them leads to distraction and poses a risk to taking on new ways of thinking and acting.
Since people express different emotions at different times with different intensitiesminimizing the likelihood of experiencing them is a more productive approach than just addressing them after they are expressed.
So how do you help people through this short, but intense, phase of transition? Here are some actions you can take:
Encourage people to appreciate what they are leaving behind
Every individual aor group has traditions and practices that define them. Reliving these practices either through doing them or storytelling can provide closure to the way things were.
Remind people of the benefits of what they are taking on
Although this is something that is important through all stages of change, it is essential just before people take on new and often uncomfortable ways of behaving. Remembering the ‘why’ behind the change can help justify the anticipated pain of experiencing it.
Offer multiple types of support as people take on the change
Demonstrating how people will be supported through their transition can reassure them that they are not alone. Easily accessible assistance can help minimize the anxiety caused by thinking about the unknown. Offering multiple types of support demonstrates commitment and builds confidence that things will be okay.
This week, my family has been anticipating a significant change. Our eldest son, Sam, is going to university in Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1,800 kilometres away from our home.

 

My emotions have been varied and intense–everything from pride and excitement, to sadness and nostalgic longing. It has been distracting, but I have been determined not to let it be a risk to our transition. Here are some actions we have taken:
Encourage people to appreciate what they are leaving behind
Sam has had many get-togethers and a party this week. Making them fun and festive was our family’s priority. We have also spent a lot of time doing and reminiscing about our traditions.
Remind people of the benefits of what they are taking on
This is an easy one. Sam is entering an exciting time in his life where he will gain new experiences and meet new friends. Living in a new city will be an adventure too. He is going to grow in many ways and everyone is talking about his journey.
Offer multiple types of support as people take on the change
We have turned Sam’s move into a family vacation. Barb and Sam are en route to Halifax, and Charlie and I will be flying today to join them. We will be with Sam for three days followed by numerous video and phone calls, correspondence. He may not have time to study. 
Helping people manage their emotions and behaviours before they experience a significant change directly impacts their ability to successfully make their transition. This is true of business and personal changes. A few actions can help ease transitions, as we are finding out now.

Phil

 
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Are NOT a robot, right? Please answer this simple math question * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Take Action

Ask us a question about your change

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Subject

    Your Question


    Get the newsletter
    Change With Confidence
    Please type your name and email address and click on "Send". We will add you to our newsletter distribution list. Thank you.




    Get Change with Confidence
    Change With Confidence

    Get Change on the Run
    Change With Confidence

    Twitter

    When impressing leaders, what is the 1 action you would take to get 80% results in 20% of the time? Here’s mine: bit.ly/3CHq0Ho. The podcast episode with key opinion leader @RobbyNap is on Sounder bit.ly/3iKl2js. #change #changemanagement #leadership #podcasts pic.twitter.com/wUxLfW3w0M

    About 2 weeks ago