The Space Between Pain and Problem-solving

Growth happens for many reasons. The demand for your products and services exceeds your capacity. Your business plan calls for expanding to new markets. An acquisition doubled your headcount overnight. Whichever the cause, the employee engagement surveys identify the same pain point: constant change. Constant change energizes some teammates and exhausts others. The team quietly divides into subgroups separating those who embrace the speedy transformation from those who need time to process the impact. How do we bring these sides together?

Coping skills get activated once you know what you are managing. Struggle always begins with an expression of pain followed by problem-solving. It’s the space between pain and problem-solving that gets most of us stuck. Just knowing things will eventually get resolved is not enough to soothe anxiety. It takes some movement in the right direction.

The secret sauce for managing constant change is communication. Consider the ways that active collaboration moves a team forward:

Listen to me: Provide simple validation that my membership on the team has value.

Allay my concerns: Show me the path from my brain’s fear center to its problem-solving hub.

Inform me: Tell me something I don’t know and bring me up to speed on the bigger picture.

Enlighten me: Shine a light on something positive and give me a glimpse of the future.

Solicit my perspective: Harness the strength of diversity by seeing the world through my lens.

Invite my participation: Clarify my role on the team.

Often the simplest solution is right under our noses: communication. Give equal weight to the giving and taking aspects of the exchange. Listen for understanding. Take time to check for misinterpretation. Filter out your bias. Team communication fills the space between anguish and anticipation with palpable movement from tension to resolution. Have a conversation.