Facing the Fears of Change
Business & Leadership Behaviors Project Management Thoughts Random Thoughts

Feelings, Facts, & Embracing Change

I was listening to a report on the radio the other day regarding the increase in anxiety coming from reporting inflation and a possible recession.  As in – the recession may or may not come, but just hearing about it makes everyone very anxious and stressed.

I get it.  Whenever I see the cost of something has gone up (again), I flash on how much money I have and feel stressed.

The fact is that we aren’t actually in a recession – it is just a possibility.  The stress I’m feeling (and clearly not feeling alone) is just that – a feeling.  It’s not a fact.

Change = Stress

Over the years, I’ve tried to train myself to distinguish between facts and feelings (i.e., just because I feel something doesn’t make it a fact).  As a project manager, I try to help my clients navigate these two factors as well.  This is actually a very large part of my job.

Any kind of change – even just the potential for change – can bring about uncertainty and fear.  That’s just the way that we humans are built.

It can also bring out our creative side – but not always in the best way.  For example, when I don’t know what may happen, I sometimes fill in the blanks with the worst possible scenario in the hope that I’ll be better prepared should the worst happen.

Unfortunately, this exercise doesn’t tend to ground me.  Instead, it seems to make me feel worse.  And the same happens for my clients.

Just the Facts, Ma’am

As project managers, we deal with facts:  dates, resources, dependencies, deliverables, KPIs, etc.  But we’re also dealing with people.

And the change that comes from implementing a new system or a solution is still a change that can cause people stress and anxiety.

So I begin by addressing the fear so I can understand their perspective.  Then, I find that the best way to deal with these feelings is usually by focusing on facts:

  • The facts that have motivated the team to make a change and implement a system (the Why)
  • The facts surrounding the outcome that the new system will produce (the What)
  • The facts of the different steps that will be done to get them there (the How)

This process is generally repeated multiple times throughout the project until we get them to the other side and they realize their fears never came to fruition.

The Fixed Asset Facts

Embracing change can be scary – but it doesn’t always mean that there’s something awful in the new reality.

With our mobilePLUS solution, we’re all about facts – fixed asset facts, specifically.  We ensure the data you have surrounding your assets – data that you use to make budgets, plan resource allocations, and more – is available and accurate.

That way, you don’t need to fear what you don’t know – or worse, get creative and fill in the blanks.