As a change management speaker, I often talk with clients that are going through massive change in their companies. One of the biggest things I have learned about change management can be encapsulated by comparing two of my recent clients. Even though they were both going through similar changes, they each dealt with the change in dramatically different ways.
Today I’m talking about something I call temporary incompetence. What’s that? Well, stay with me and I’ll tell you. I’ll also tell you how it helps you in your work. But first I’ll tell you about my vacation. (Trust me, it’ll all make sense in the end.)
A little while ago I went on a two week vacation with my family to Brazil. It was a great trip, and I had a phenomenal time. On our very first day, we went to a little cafe on the streets of Rio de Janeiro looking for some snacks and drinks. The process of ordering snacks and drinks turned into a small adventure of its own because we didn’t know a lot of things about ordering in a cafe in Rio de Janeiro.
What we didn’t know:
1 The language
2 The system
3 How to order
4 How to pay
Because we didn’t know these things, my family and I were what I call temporarily incompetent. We were temporarily incompetent at ordering snacks.
Of course, it all turned out in the end. It ended up being an awesome adventure and one of my fondest memories from the trip.
The idea of temporary incompetence doesn’t only apply to situations in a cafe in Brazil, it also applies to your jobs at the office. A lot of things change at the office, whether it be a new system, new software, new regulations, or a different sales process.
Nobody wants change. If you have ever experienced any of these changes or other similar ones, and freaked out a little, you aren’t alone. We don’t want changes because we might be really good at the old system, we might be slow at learning things, and we don’t want to be temporarily incompetent. Nobody likes the feeling of incompetence, even temporarily. I sure don’t. But actually,
experiencing temporary incompetence can help us.
So what’s the difference with changes at the office and finding yourself in a sticky situation while you’re on vacation? The difference is only in our head. Feeling incompetent shakes us up, stresses us out, blasts us out of our rut. And that’s good. Who wants unending sameness? We all need shaking up on a temporary basis. It’s good for our psyche, it’s good for our brain, and it’s good for our self-confidence. Because it’s temporary. And then we become competent again. The only way we grow is through change. The only way we’re motivated to change is through temporary incompetence.
Here’s what we all need to do when we find ourselves freaking out over the changes at the office:
1. Change our perspective
2. Relish the challenge of change
3. Embrace the change
Change is difficult. However, change is needed. It is how you stay ahead of the competition, it can bring advantages, flexibility and confidence. And, as I learned during my Brazilian cafe adventure, being temporarily incompetent can be kind of fun.
While he isn’t exploring the streets of Brazil, Brad Montgomery is a professional speaker that uses humor, story and passion to engage with his audiences. Call today to get a free consultation!
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Change Sucks. Deal with it.
As a business speaker, one of the most frequent calls I get from perspective clients is, “Can you talk to us about change? Our folks are having a tough time.”
So are we all.
Recently I was reminded how HARD change can be, and I gotta say it was a little humbling.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/Ge3lw4a4WCE”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I have ALWAYS had some sort of technology that I use to play music and sound effects during my speeches. It’s super cool, it adds a lot to the presentation, and it’s really a pain in the butt to learn. The first time I got a technology, about 25 years ago, it took me at least a year to learn. And maybe 5 years to master.
It’s not that complicated, but because I’m doing other things when I run it, it’s more difficult than
you think. It’s easy to program wrong. It’s easy to use wrong. And it’s easy to forget some simple but crucial detail, spiraling my whole program into a messy pile of goop. It ain’t rocket science, but it’s harder than it first appears.
So what’s new? I just bought myself a new and improved technology. It does the same thing I’ve always done — play music at my command — but it’s better than my older thing. The problem is that I’m not used to it. I make mistakes. I have to re-learn the commands as they are different from the old ones, and programming it is not that hard, but because I’m used to the old way it SEEMS pretty hard. It’s a pain in the butt.
I was whining to my wife about my problems and frustrations learning the new technology and she hit hard with a simple question: “Why don’t you use some of the wisdom you tell your audiences, Mr. Motivational Speaker?” Crap. She got me.
She was right: I was totally wasting my energy griping about change management. I should heed my own advice. What is it, you ask? Glad you asked. Here it is in a nutshell.
• Change happens. We can whine or not, but it happens. Might as well try to go with it. Fighting makes it worse.
• Change is good for our business. If we don’t keep up with new trends and technologies, we eventually put ourselves OUT of work. Reminding ourselves that change is a positive for us helps us to take it in stride.
• Change is good for our happiness. When we get too used to stuff, we tend to stagnate. Seeking new activities that challenge us keeps us in good mental shape. Yeah, it is frustrating and difficult sometimes. But oddly, those challenges are good for our long-term well being.
What Does ThIs Mean for You? The next time you find yourself whining at the new software, the new IOs on your phone, or some new process at work, you have a choice. You can whine and complain, or you
can try deal with it in a more positive way. Don’t be like me and my new music technology. Be brave. Be strong. Be gracious.
Shout out to my wife Kim for being smarter than I am.
What do you think? How do YOU deal with change?
Brad Montgomery is a very funny motivational speaker on change. Approximately 99% of his client are struggling with some aspect of change, and he has some pretty funny ways to help business people get through change management with grace, with skill, and with a sense of humor. If you’d like to talk to us about how Brad can help your team get to where they need to be, give us a call or contact us immediately for a free consultation about how we can do just that.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]