21 Nov 2017

Managing Transitions

William Bridges wrote first "Transitions" : the changes in our own lives, we could not avoid.

Some do feel it fell upon them, some wanted it. Does not matter, he does show in his book: all have to go through three periods of the change.

We leave something, it is painful. Even when we are new parents, no more free time, no more quiet nights. Without understanding, we mourn the "old" one we were. Even more, when we did not want the new! We loose our job or a love. Something from our "older self" remains behind.

Any change begins with an Ending, Bridges proves. I had his book for a while, took it out and read it again when I begun Pathways. Understanding better my own life and stories. I wanted to tell a story of a certain Eastern, when my life as it was before changed, and understand all that happened around it.

Second, comes a period of transition. The wondering in the dessert. Uncertainty. A fog before us: where are we heading? Takes time. But when we are ready, as "all certain things are lost" great creativity can arise from it. That is the period we are now with Pathways, I believed. Third period is when we begin something new, it also comes with its own joys and problems too.

At this stage, I went online, and discovered he had a second book written many years after the first. He become change consultant in companies. In Managing Transition William Bridges describes years of his experience. What works for successful change, and what hinders it. His advices to companies are so important to understand. For us, in Toastmasters, now even more.

I suggest, all of you to read this book on Kindle or in book format: I have now both.

Each period is important: we can not escape them or jump ahead, if we want to succeed in end.

The most important things I took from it: Do not postpone to give out the information. Do not think "they will learn when time comes": inform, inform, and inform again. That assures a lot smoother, better transition. Never "too much or too early"!

Understand the concern of those mourning what they lost, what they will lose, they feel as if it was part of themselves. Understand their concerns. Use all those with experience and make them contribute, give them new roles, make them feel important, part of the process. Give them if needed new roles, to teach others, to feel again important.

So many wisdom from the book, can not be put in a few lines, but perhaps those are the essence.

Reading the book when I was at my last project of Level 1, Research, and was studying also Pathways in Transition in our clubs and education system, I suddenly understood what I could do. Make know, inform by many means. Informing, telling my own experience, helping others through the fog, the uncertainty, telling about my own path of wondering in the dessert. Of finding ways out of it. Finding, finally, my own "promised land". And getting a "vision" of my role in the process of our change.

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