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Give change a chance

Today’s guest blogger, Linda Misegadis, brings us some thoughtful insight on the concept of change.  Linda is a Public Sector Industry Consultant at Kronos and a  PROSCI Certified Change Manager.  As the former Director of Citywide Payroll and Administration Services at the City & County of Denver, Linda has first-hand experience on how the right kind of change can lead to powerful results. 

A couple of weeks ago our youngest son called us and told us that he needed to talk to his dad and me.  He is in his second year of college, majoring in business and our immediate thought was that he wanted to drop out of school.  While we had no real reason to suspect this, it is where our thoughts went.

For an entire week my husband and I speculated on what we thought he needed to tell us that he couldn’t just say over the phone.  We have always had a very open relationship with him, so we were a bit confused by this change.

Finally the long awaited day arrived when we were to find out what it was that he needed to talk to us about.  We arrived home and there he was; at the kitchen table (that he had cleared which he never does), with his laptop and a power point presentation (which he had never done before) and glasses of water for the three of us.  As you can imagine, this caught us a bit off guard.  After all, this is not how we have always done things in our home.  So, my husband and I sat down and braced ourselves for the news, prepared to talk through whatever it might be.  What transpired was our son thinking through what he wanted to discuss with us, what he  was hoping to achieve, putting a plan together and trying a new way of having that conversation.  He knew that if he did it the same way he always had that he might not get the answer he was hoping to receive.  He walked through his power point and asked us to hold our feedback until he had completed the entire presentation.  Because of this change or different approach his dad and I had an opportunity to change the way we communicate with him.

I share this story because my job is to help people in government, to change the way they do things.  I challenge them to look at things differently and realize that just because it has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean that it is the right way.

It is easy to tell people that they should change, but change is very personal, even in our jobs.  It took our son changing the way he communicates with us to get a different response.  If he would have done what he has always done he would have got what he has always gotten.  If we would not have been open to the change, the conversation might have gone much different.

What I have learned in both my personal and business life, is that the only constant is change.  While it is not always easy to do, it is required for us to grow personally and professionally.  So I challenge each of you to look at each day with a fresh perspective and open your mind to doing things different.  Sometimes it will make things better, sometimes it might not change anything and sometimes it might not work, but you won’t know until you try.

The end of the story is that our son didn’t want to quit college, just change schools and majors.  He is an aspiring musician and producer and wants to go somewhere that can help him achieve his goals.  He will be moving to Arizona next Fall.  This will be another big change for his Dad and me, but we are ready to embrace this new path and he has our full support.

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