I’ve got to restructure my group, it’s a mandate from the top. Three are going to have to leave. I know how I’m going to make the decision as to who stays and who goes, but I don’t know what to do about the emotional impact on the group as a whole. How do I manage the emotional impact of change? It’s a question that came up in a group coaching session this week. An organization I’m working with currently is undergoing a profound amount of change. The tone on that call was somber. She wasn’t the only one facing this challenge. And the answer to the question? The answer is there is no easy answer. And that’s tough, because most of us who are in leadership positions got there because we’re good at solving problems. We’re type A people who know how to get sh#t done. Our tendency to be able to jump in and fix things is what has gotten us to the point we’re at, it’s our success formula so to speak. Utilize Compassionate Empathy for Managing the Emotional Impact of Change Managing the emotional impact of a reorganization or a significant change isn’t something that can just be easily ticked off a to do list. And this causes significant stress for a lot of leaders because in essence we feel helpless. In our ignorance of how to deal with the situation, we often end up ignoring the problem. Which makes things even worse. The bottom line is you don’t “fix” emotions. You hold the space for them gently. You acknowledge them, don’t try to rush people through them and don’t try to change them or make them go away. You let them be. Leading with compassionate empathy can be tricky. It’s not the same as pity or sympathy, where we feel sorry FOR the other person. It’s about allowing yourself to feel WITH them without taking the responsibility for solving their problem on your shoulders. In practice it looks quite simple but it can be quite difficult to do. 3 Steps for Navigating Change with Compassionate Empathy 1) Create a safe space. Maybe this is a 1:1 rather than a team meeting. You might ask, “How are you feeling about the change? How is the impending reorganization personally affecting you?” Ask a few open-ended questions and then wait. 2) Embrace any awkward silence that may arise. This can be excruciating if we’re not used to it and you might be tempted to fill the silence. Don’t. Trust me, they’ll eventually speak. And then deeply listen. Listen for the tone in their voice, listen for the specific words they’re using. Are they sad? Anxious? Angry? Resentful? Listen for the emotions present in what they are saying, even if they don’t name a feeling. 3) Acknowledge and validate what you’re hearing. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with their interpretation or how they’re processing the information. “It makes perfect sense that you’re frustrated. This is the […]
December 8, 2023
4.8 min read
It was a privilege to work with Shelley as my leadership coach! The process was structured and yet flexible enough to meet needs as they arose. Shelley helped me to grow, learn more about myself, and to really achieve what I set out to accomplish. We worked on planning, navigating a promotion successfully, and so much more! I experienced many successes as a result of working with Shelley, she has great resources, knowledge, and really helps with setting the foundation to this coaching work. She won’t let you down!
Having the opportunity to have Shelley as my Leadership Coach could not have come at a better time in my career. I was recently promoted to CFO and was new to the Senior Management Team. Shelley helped me navigate joining the team as well as helped me to determine who I wanted to be as a leader. The Leadership Circle Profile helped our team to discover our blinds spots and to be able to understand each other better. Working with Shelley not only has affected my professional life in a positive way, but also my personal life. She helped me take leaps and has given me the resources to continue this journey of self-improvement. If you’re looking to find more about yourself and how you can be the best version of yourself, I highly recommend working with Shelley.
I have been working with Shelley for the past 2 years on my leadership development journey. What I thought would be a straight line, I soon learned with Shelley’s guidance, was a winding path with several ups and downs along the way. Shelley supported me as I took a deep dive into my professional and personal history and learned how it affects my approach and my perceptions. She helped me to slow down and recognize certain behaviors and understand that I can pivot in the moment or try again next time. Ultimately, my work with Shelley turned out to be so much more than what I expected. Her approach to coaching was exactly what I needed.
Senior Vice President, Consulting
I’ve learned more about leadership in the past six months working with Shelley than I have in my 10+ year career. She is an incredible coach with many tools in her toolbox. The guidance and mentorship I’ve received from Shelley has been life-changing. She will challenge your limiting beliefs and inspire new ways of thinking.
I highly recommend Shelley if you need a coach, thought partner, and guide as you consider the next steps in your career. She provides practical tools and advice to help launch your career exploration, but most importantly, she is an expert at helping you cut through the noise of your limiting beliefs. At the end of our time together, I had a much clearer vision of what I wanted in my life and a plan to make it happen. My only regret is that I didn’t find her sooner!
My career coaching sessions with Shelley have brought me back to living. It’s been contagious, spreading throughout my personal and professional life. I now have the building blocks I need to continue setting healthy boundaries, the freedom to show up as my authentic self, and an adaption of a growth mindset that has allowed me to make bold decisions and try new things. I’ve discovered that there’s always another way and how to eradicate barriers that lead to tunnel vision. These sessions with Shelley have been a great gift and have given me the momentum I need to continue the journey to be my best self.
It is amazing to think where I was only 10 months ago when I first started working with Shelley and where I am now. Not only professionally but mentally and emotionally. Shelley helped me navigate out of an unhealthy work environment by challenging me and asking me those tough questions we never seem to ask ourselves. What are the values of a true leader? How do those values align with my own? Shelley challenging me and guiding me through some of those tough questions is what led to my epiphany and me having the courage and confidence to leave an environment that threatened my well-being. She taught me how to become more self-aware and self-compassionate. Reminded me to be kind even when the world would understand if I did otherwise. And the biggest one for me, shutting down that crazy inner voice (we all have it!) and replacing it with being present. Shelley has armed me with tools that I will carry with me for a lifetime. Tools that will help me to continue to grow and learn. Life can be hard but working with someone like Shelley does make it easier. She will help you navigate the good and the bad and you’ll learn so much about yourself in the process.
Director of Marketing
First of all I would like to say that I would recommend Shelley to anyone needing career guidance. As my counselor Shelley helped me transition my career from bartending to Tech Sales which was a difficult and scary transition for me. From the start Shelley was fantastic. Initially I had no idea of which direction I wanted my career to go, I just knew I wanted it to go somewhere else. Shelley was so kind and patient as she helped me figure this out, and gave me a step by step guide on how to explore my options and make an educated decision. She also helped me assess my skill set which played a large part in directing my energy. I landed a great job within days of my final session with Shelley, and now I’m month 3 I am absolutely loving it and doing very well. It was the perfect job for me and Shelley was the one that got me there. Working with Shelley was one of the best decisions I have ever made, she literally changed my life and I am so much happier for it.