One Thing We Have in Common
When I was a teenager, I was going to my first job interview, and my Daddy told me not to be afraid to speak up because “Everybody puts their pants on the same way – one leg a time.” He said that people, no matter their age or status, are just people. We all have a lot in common. Respect others’ opinions, stand by yours, but never forget that relationships are all that matter. I landed the job back then, but the world feels very different now.
Things we don’t have in common have taken center stage these days. There is no reason to share evidence of this because unless you have been totally off the grid for the last five years, you know the “I’m right, so you’re wrong” mindset is very much alive. If I shared a current example, I’m 100% confident that somebody would feel offended. I may have already offended someone by my “Puts on their pants” quote, and I respect that person (with a nod to my Dad).
Whew! Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest – here is my observation for today. There is one thing we all have in common. Whether you’re in the Silent Generation, a Baby Boomer, Generation X, Millennial, Generation Z, or in grade school or kindergarten, everyone experiences constant change and struggles with the wave of emotions that follow a change event.
Strangely enough, the idea to write this article and share this blinding glimpse of the obvious was triggered by the photo here sent to me by my friend Jay Gill, Vice President, Communications & Economic Development at Carroll EMC in Carrollton, Georgia. It shows Jay, a Gen Xer, reading my book “Roll Up Your Sleeves,” in a photo shared with kids, parents, grandparents, and teachers in the area. The picture was part of the social media campaign for Reading Across America in the Carrollton, Georgia City School System. The campaign was a challenge for folks in Carroll County to drop everything at 8:30 am each day that week and read for 15 minutes – to share a common experience.
“Roll Up Your Sleeves” is a parable about understanding the distinction between change and transition. The book’s premise is that every person experiences three phases of emotions when a change event happens: Resisting, Exploring, and Committing, and you can intentionally make it through these phases in a productive way. The first step is to understand that these emotions are common to all humans. The second is to identify your style and realize which phase of emotions you are currently experiencing. There are ten ideas in the book. One suggestion is to talk with another person about where you are in your transition. This uncommon but straightforward action will help both of you roll up your sleeves and take the next step to living and leading well again. You’ll also find illustrations and other tools to help you open up a space for that conversation to happen naturally.
Journal Entry: Understanding how to manage change is a needed skill for anyone at any age or position in life. “Roll Up Your Sleeves” might be good for a family so parents can learn how to stay connected with their children. A couple with a challenge may find common ground , or a business team could engage in a crucial conversation about ways to have a more productive transition into their next normal by talking about the concepts in this book. You might be amazed at what a 15-minute read or chat might do for everyone because transition is one thing we all have in common in our leadership and life.
“Everyone has unseen battles they are fighting. Be kind and speak truth.” From Roll Up Your Sleeves – Leading and Living in a World of Constant Change
“Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your request to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” The Bible in the book of Philippians 4:6-7
Free Offer: On the book website, you can take a 2-minute quiz to identify your Change Management style. You’ll receive a personal report with practical principles to help you manage the stress of change and suggestions on ways to support and encourage those you care about to get through the challenges of change in a healthy way. Visit Roll Up Your Sleeves website HERE to learn more.
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