One of the elements of learning agility is the capacity to adapt to changing circumstances. In today’s workplace, change is a constant, and it’s coming at us at warp speed. So, how do we prepare ourselves to make changes quickly and effectively when it’s required of us at work?! I believe we need to attack the real problem – fear.
Reluctance to change is based primarily on fear – fear of losing our routine, fear of inabililty to cope with new demands, or fear of looking inept. To minimize reluctance to change, we have to minimize our fear by building our self-confidence.
Here’s an example of how I built my confidence and moved past my fear of using technology as a marketing tool. In the first few years of my consulting practice, I sought out opportunities to speak at conferences and client meetings. Because I enjoy being with people and am comfortable with public speaking, this was a natural way of marketing for me…and I like to travel. Sounds like a win-win, right?
In the past two years, my web master and my colleagues encouraged me to use Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to stay visible and market my consulting business. I resisted at first, and kept hearing stories about how other consultants were getting visibility and projects through technology. I asked myself the hard question – “why am I so reluctant to try at least one element of technology, such as LinkedIn?” After some soul searching, my answer to this was straightforward – I didn’t want to give up travelling for speaking engagements and I didn’t want to take time to set up and learn to use LinkedIn or Blogs. What if I did it all wrong and came across as dumb?
I decided to build my self-confidence with education. My local computer retail store has lessons on every type of software imaginable, so I began taking lessons. I studied tutorials on Blogging and setting up Facebook and Linked In. I asked for feedback from friends and colleagues who would be honest, yet kind, about my initial efforts. I let my web master give me advice, and I listen.
Last week, my confidence had grown to the point where I read a local article on Google+ and it seemed like a good tool to use. I read up on Google+ and set up my page on my own, then let my web master know I had taken this step. He is very proud.
It’s a relationship thing: the more you build your confidence through education, the less fear you have of change.