How to Manage Yourself When You're Managing Change

Going through organizational change can be exhausting—especially when you’re the one leading the charge. Since you’re a good leader, we know you’re already using check-ins and 1:1s to gauge the team’s mood, giving people the space to mourn the old way of doing things, and hopefully, celebrating the quick wins to mark progress. But what can you do when you, the leader, are struggling with change? If everyone’s coming to you for help, how can you get the support you need? In our work with team leaders, as well as our own practice, we’ve found the following tips are helpful:

  1. Open up to your team. As much as we want to act as fearless leaders to keep morale high, it’s okay to show a little vulnerability. In fact, admitting that you’re struggling may give your team the permission they need to be more open about their experience.

  2. Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. Revisit your team’s purpose statement, and if possible, talk to some of your customers. It’s easy to feel lost, or even wonder if you’re just going through change for change’s sake, but reconnecting with the end goals can keep you motivated.

  3. Practice self-care techniques. Meditation or journaling can help give you perspective on a day-to-day basis, but sometimes you just need a bigger boost. Stepping away from the office and taking a real break, even for just a day, can be the re-set you need. Just a warning: really take a break—don’t check emails remotely all day on your day off.

  4. Ask your boss for help. Sure, we want to be able to “do it all,” but your boss is there for a reason. During your 1:1s, look for tasks that you can delegate or de-prioritize. Try and be as specific as possible about your greatest challenge so that you can develop concrete ways to address it.

  5. Find a support group. If you’re the one pushing change forward, doubt quickly seeps in: is this really the best way forward? Am I the only one who thinks this is broken? If you need an outside perspective, find others who are going through similar experiences and share notes. Our Slack channel and our in-person Team Ups are a great way to find like-minded individuals who want to improve their organizations.


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