You Assume Success, But Assume I’m Thinking Failure: Working Infertile Ground During Times of Change.

Dawn Burke Change, Communication, Dawn Hrdlica, Influence, Negotiation

FOT Nation:  Well, it’s looking like I may not be able to have kids.  I’m 39 and without going into a lot of detail, it may not medically be in the cards.  Now please know, I’m still fighting the good fight and don’t feel sunk.  There is still a lot to be done—so please no pity emails/responses/posts.  And please, I beg you FOT Audience, no replies that say, “you’re just worrying about it too much; as soon as you stop trying you’ll get preggers”.  Gag me.

So me and my hubby got into an “intellectual” argument (at least we tried to keep it intellectual) about
the mindsets around this situation.  Particularly around how you plan for, take control of, and wrap your brain around handling something like this.

My mindset:  Follow the Dr.’s advice, take control, don’t friggen dilly-dally, be aggressive, go through the steps, take your meds, and don’t leave this to fate.  I’ve been down this path before, so I’m prayed out.

His mindset:  Let it go, don’t worry, let things take their course for several months before you go to “step two”, what do the Dr.’s know?

Then here’s where I got perplexed.  My hubby threw out—I think you assume failure before you let things happen.  I assume success.

Ouch.  What he was trying to say was I preplan everything in efforts to mitigate failure. He assumes success so plans aren’t as urgent. Now before you think my hubby was being mean, he wasn’t.  He has always been the yin to my yang and mostly says things like that to keep me calm or to balance me out. But damn, I’ve been down this path before. He hasn’t. In this case I think I was assuming “reality”.

Some HR Takeaways:

  • This is an interesting Change Management allegory.
  • Change or the process of changing is ALWAYS effected by the assimilation of past experience.  Past experience flavors current experiences. My past experience in this case shapes me very differently than my husband.  The same things happen at work too: between your boss, your team, your candidates.
  • There is a fine line between past experiences enlightening your current choices or squelching out new possibilities. Always be open to new possibilities.
  • Honest, authentic conversation between two differing parties almost always progresses complex issues forward. Even if the viewpoints are differing. In this case, we both assumed success…but with very different paths to get there. Ultimately we both learned a lot from each other because of these differences and have a new plan moving forward.
  • In the new business model change is like a wave that must be ridden. Embracing new twists and turns/ups and downs is really as simple as breathing if you are in the right mindset. HR Rockstars—it is your job to be an example of that positive change mindset.

So, don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater (or squelch change) inadvertently. Ride the wave till you hit solid ground.

Dawn Burke

Dawn Burke, founder/advisor for Dawn Burke HR, is an HR leader, speaker and writer specializing in new HR practices, engagement and workplace culture. Her HR/leadership career has spanned the last 20 years, most recently serving as VP of People for Birmingham, AL’s award-winning technology company, Daxko (And yes, Kris Dunn and Dawn are making Bham the HR capital of the world! Who knew?). You can also check her out at DawnHBurke.com and a variety of other interesting places. Google her, it’ll keep you posted on what she is up to.