At the beginning of this year, I got a note from a woman whose department was undergoing a “transformation.” It’s a word I come across in every company I visit. While most people I meet may recognize the need for some kind of change, almost no one likes the process, or the uncertainty that comes with it.
She wrote to say that she was in Week 6 of a Working Out Loud Circle, and that her “WOL family gave her stability." Despite anxiety related to the transformation, she was getting new energy from her network each day while she made progress toward her goal.
I wrote back:
“There are many times when I worked in a big company when my network was like "a lifeboat in a sea of change" (a good title for a blog post :-))
At first it was just a relief to interact with nice people at the firm amidst the fear and defensiveness that came along with "transformation." Over time, it came to be a source of ideas and ultimately a new career.”
A Circle offers you a safe, confidential space where you can work on your goals and your development without worrying about judgment or competition. For me, the relationships I developed turned out to be a source of strength in addition to a source of ideas and feedback. They gave me the perspective to see things clearly, and the confidence and encouragement to take action.
If you’re facing a change in your work or life, do you have a lifeboat? Who’s in it?