When we’re faced with a challenge or a change, our default can be to stop in our tracks. However, by adopting a positive mind-set and a philosophical approach, you can take the steps to overcome these challenges and the fear of change. Practice Plan asked Strategic Coach, Joy Marsden, to share her advice on how to manage change effectively.
Over time, we all develop patterns of behaviours, such as ways of thinking, acting and responding to certain situations. As we consistently use these patterns, we become conditioned to work in a particular way, meaning change is basically asking us to stop all of that and work in a different manner. It therefore takes time and energy in terms of our focus, thinking and behaviours to take any action. Ultimately, making a change goes against the grain and it’s uncomfortable; that’s why we all find it so hard.
It’s common for business owners and their teams to find it easier, or less frightening, to stick with what they’re used to, even though things don’t feel right. In this situation, a positive outlook is better than a negative one. In order to achieve that mind-set, there are a couple of things we need to do. There will be some habits that we use, some thoughts that we have and some actions that we take, that simply no longer serve either us or the people with whom we work. We have to be prepared to ‘shred’ those. The other thing is that in our working environment, it really does take some effort to tune into what is going on. When tuning in, you want to be asking yourself questions such as:
- Am I getting the most out of my staff or suppliers?
- Do I understand the staff who I work with enough?
- Am I engaging with the patients who are coming to see me every single day?
- Am I truly present with them?
When it comes to moving your business forward, an essential part of achieving success is teamwork. The best way to lead and motivate your team is to be a leader who is motivated and is leading themselves. In my work, I find that there are many managers leading other people who haven’t quite learned how to lead themselves. If I’m going to follow a leader, I want to follow someone who is motivated themselves. Why should I be motivated if I can’t see an ounce of motivation in them?
“When it comes to moving your business forward, an essential part of achieving success is teamwork.”
Everything is governed by the vision of the leader and where they see the business in the future. It may be that what the leader of the business is doing now is not going to be good enough to take them to where they want to go in the future. So, in terms of where they are now – and their comfort circle – if they are happy then that’s fine. But if they want to explore new possibilities, at some stage the investigation of any opportunities is going to feel uncomfortable. In these circumstances the leader has to be willing to explore outside of that comfort circle. It’s scary, but I believe in ‘the stretch’. We’re not designed to stay still; we’re designed to keep stepping and to grow. When we stretch ourselves, that is where the growth happens; in the stretch, not the comfort circle.
“It’s useful to have a mentor or a coach of some kind who is there to support and bring out the best in you.”
Make sure you’re working with the best people who will help you to move in the right direction to achieve excellence in your practice. It’s useful to have a mentor or a coach of some kind who is there to support and bring out the best in you. But it is not about having your ego stroked, rather finding someone who will challenge you to aim higher and take the next step. That’s how you can align your business with your aspirations. You need to pick someone who has experience, who has integrity and with whom you can build trust, so that you can be honest with them and expect them to be truthful with you too.
If you’re feeling disillusioned and want to improve the business element of your practice, remember that tomorrow can be different for you. The step you take now is going to affect the whole of the rest of your life and business. But you have to take some steps.
About Joy Marsden
As an influential change advocate, Joy Marsden teaches leaders, leadership teams and employees within multi-million pound companies around the world using her uniquely designed ‘Keep Stepping System’, where she focuses on five key areas that must be mastered when going through challenge and change. Joy is a qualified Strategic Coach with the Chartered Management Institute. She is also a member of the Global Speakers Federation, a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association and a Fellow of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management.